“I’m never brining any of you any more encargos,” my mom complained as I help her lift the two huge suitcases you see in the picture above into my car’s trunk at Denver International Airport yesterday.

She just got back from a six-week long trip to Peru and both my sister and I bombarded her with our lista de encargos even before she left. In fact, mine kept on growing while she was already there and I remembered I also wanted this thing or the other thing and emailed or called so she could add it to the list. But while my mom complains about what a pain it is for her to go running around Lima getting us our encargos and then complains about having to pay the overweight fees at the airport, I know she’ll always bring these things back because she knows how much it means for us to have a little piece of our homeland here in Denver.

I’ve written about this topic before, so I won’t bore you with the details about why these encargos are so important to me. I’ll just share photos of some of the things she brought back, including my favorite Peruvian candy. Check them out:

Have you ever had any of these? While I can find many of the Mexican candies I grew up with, the Peruvians are a lot harder to come by now that we live in Colorado. Getting them directly from Peru, then, is a real treat. The majority of these have already gone into hiding, as Vanessa has become addicted to some of them too and so if I leave them laying around, they’ll disappear before I even taste them myself. 

Because my mom is an awesome mamama (the name many Peruvians calls their abuelas), when her nieta Vanessa asked her for some conchitas from the beach in Peru, my mom not only obliged, she actually brought back more than 100 sea shells picked by her brother — my godfather — and one of her cousins. Needless to say, my daughter was in heaven and already has plans to make several necklaces out of the ones that have little holes.

Last, but not least, a bunch of beautiful finds from my home country, including T-shirt with the new Perú logo as well as several books for kids learning to read in Spanish for Vanessa, which I promise to write more about soon. For now, you should know that I got the recommendations for the book from the librarian at the dual language school I used to attend as a child back in Peru… so you know they’re awesome.

What’s on your list of encargos?

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