Hi! My name is Samantha, but most people call me Sam! I’m Chinese-Filipina but grew up in Vancouver, BC, Canada and currently live in the Central Andes of Peru at an altitude of 3,259 meters (10,692 feet) in a city called Huancayo in Peru.
Can I Visit You in Huancayo?
Definitely (and I’d love to show you around), but be warned that it’ll be way out of your way. 😅 In Peru, Huancayo is the 5th largest city, but there are very few tourists who visit because it’s outside of the normal tourist route (Lima-Cusco). In fact, you’d have to take a major detour with roundtrip flights or bus rides from Lima to Huancayo, then back to Lima if you were wanting to visit. Unfortunately, this isn’t ideal for the majority of tourists who visit Peru for 7-10 days because people often already need extra time in Cusco to get used to the high altitude (nearly the same as Huancayo at 3,399 meters or 11,141 feet).
How Did You First Arrive in Huancayo?
I first arrived in Huancayo in 2008 through the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) funded by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy right after I finished my Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at the University of British Columbia (UBC; click here to read my feature on Huancayo in The University of British Columbia Magazine). My internship involved co-leading an infant stimulation project in the rural towns surrounding Huancayo. During my time here, I realized how much I loved the slower pace of life, the warmth of the people, and the culture of the Andes.
- Years Living in Peru: 14 years (on and off)
- Where I Was Born: Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines
- Where I Grew Up: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Where I’ve Lived: Osaka, Japan (for a 1-year student exchange)
- Languages I Speak: English (native) – Spanish (advanced) – Minnanese or Fujien (basic)
- Languages I Understand: Filipino (conversational & telenovelas 🤣) – Visaya (unfortunately minimal 😅)
- Ancestry: 78.5% Chinese, 21.5% Filipino
- My Degree: Bachelor of Science (BSc), Behavioural Neuroscience
- Alma Mater: University of British Columbia