Isabel Palomino Galarza
My name is Isabel Palomino. I was born in the Andes of Peru, in the city of Huancayo.
I have four brothers and, together with my parents, we are a very close family.
I studied Hospitality and Tourism in Lima. I am also an amateur photographer, animalist, and environmentalist. I lived for a long time in the jungle of Junín, where I was a teacher in charge of alphabetizing many Ashaninkas students from the Pichis Palcazú Valley. My oldest student was 84 years old and my youngest student was 5 years old. They all learned in the same classroom. An incredible experience! Unfortunately, I had to leave them after two years because there was no budget to continue with the project. It was very sad for me, because I left several friends, but the good thing is that to this day we still communicate with each other.
Then I lived in Lima, where I met my husband. We got married and had a daughter. Because of his job, we had to migrate to Chile. We lived there for a year until my husband was transferred to Toronto. While my husband works, I do small photographic works. I even was invited to participate in contests and I have achieved good positions. I love to cook Peruvian food while listening to music from Ayacucho (a city from Peru).
Now I have two homes: Peru and Canada. We have been living in Toronto for 8 years, very close to Niagara Falls. Every year we travel to Peru. My parents came to visit and fell in love with these beautiful lands. They have always told me: “Daughter be yourself. Bring out your best essence wherever you go.”
Being a migrant taught me to value my country, my people, and to be a better person.
It is not easy to be far away. The distance hurts: my family, friends, the food, the Valley, the memories. You can leave Peru, but you will never stop being Peruvian.