4 Eye-Opening Realities of Peruvians Living Abroad in the United States

July 5, 2018 , In: The Memory Hole , With: No Comments

Accounting for just over 1% of the Hispanic population in the United States, Peruvian-Americans and expats oftentimes fly under the radar when we think about the country’s migrant workers and cultures alike.

The fact remains that the stories of such individuals have fascinating stories to tell. Likewise, the reason why well over 600,000 people with Peruvian roots have settled down in the United States in the first place. 

So, what should people know about Peruvian-Americans and their situations specifically? Below we’ve broken down four pointers to consider that may very well serve as eye-openers to the public at large.

They’re Sending Remittance En Masse

Peru responsible for nearly $1 billion in remittance payments in 2016 according to Pew Research data, cracking the top 30 overall. For perspective, this just below the amount sent by the likes of Lebanon, Ecuador and Bermuda but above Egypt, Brazil and Kenya. 

With services like Remitly helping expats figure out how to send money to Peru from the United States alongside widespread American job opportunities, the process of handling remittance and securing payments for families is arguably easier than ever.

Meanwhile, the economic situation in Peru varies from region to region, will approximately 20% of the country living in poverty. Although there is some sense of stability within Peru versus the likes of other South American countries, many natives look abroad to provide for their families.

They’re Spread Out Across the Country

As is the case of many of those looking to settle down from abroad, many Peruvians concentrate themselves in established communities within the United States. These hubs can be found quite literally from coast to coast, with Florida and California representing the two biggest hotspots for Peruvians.

For some additional perspective on just how spread out they are, the largest Peruvian populations in the United States are broken down as follows:

  • Miami-Dade County, Florida (40,000+)
  • Los Angeles County, California (34,000+)
  • Broward County, Florida (23,000+)
  • Queens County, New York (22,000+)
  • Passaic County, New Jersey (19,000+)

Many Peruvians Are Fleeing Turmoil and Violence

Financial necessity only tells part of the story as to why so many Peruvians settle down in the United States. As is the unfortunate case for many regions in South and Central America, Peru is no stranger is human rights violations and political corruption.

Some notable events and struggles to keep in mind include the rise of insurgent groups in the 1980’s, frequent clashes between local rebels and police and the nation’s 2009 political crisis which saw over 150 people wounded. These on-and-off conflicts have been cause for widespread economic instability for many natives, ultimately forcing them to flee.

There’s Opportunity for Peruvians

Despite the aforementioned conflicts and the oft-cited economic struggle of Peruvian immigrants, many expats are indeed finding their footing in the modern economy.

The growing need for bilingual workers isn’t going anywhere in the United States, for example. Jobs in hospitality and the restaurant industry are aplenty, as are more specialized white-collar jobs in tech or healthcare.

The takeaway here? There’s definitely hope for Peruvians looking for stability and prosperity in terms of their economic situations. 

Despite representing such a small sect of the Hispanic community the in the country (think: 11th in ranking in terms of total population versus #1 Mexico’s 33 million-plus), the realities of such migrants and their families are certainly worth noting. The personal and financial situation of any migrant community in the country deserves to be understood, and Peruvians are no different.