A PeaceQuest Moment in Peru

Contributed by Gayle Desarmia, SP

While visiting the Providence Sisters and Associates this Fall, I experienced a pleasant and unexpected “PeaceQuest Moment”. The Sisters of Providence and Providence Associates live in Carabayllo, north of Lima and minister to the very poor in that area. On one day, my travelling companion Sister Diane Brennen and I had the opportunity spend a day in metropolitan Lima as tourists. After visiting the Art Museum we went for a delicious lunch to a restaurant called “Café de la Paz”. When I  examined the placemats I immediately thought of PeaceQuest. Around the edge of the placemats was the word Peace in many different languages. The quotation beside the butterfly said:

The world is in the hands of those who have the courage

to dream and to run the risk of living their dreams.


Click to see image full size.

If you ever have opportunity to visit Lima, I recommend this restaurant. There is a varied menu and the food is delicious. If you order the special of the day you will be served a glass of ‘chicha morada’ to begin your dining experience. This is a refreshing, non-alcoholic cold beverage made from Peru’s purple corn. Do not go to Peru without tasting ‘chicha morada’!

Gayle Desarmia, SP

Notes from the editor:

I loved this story and was curious to know more about this cafe. Here is what I found…

A Google Translation from the Café de la Paz website about the origins of their name:

“The Café de la Paz owes its name to the fundamental value of Peace,

a constant yearning for humanity in all times.

It emerges as a response to the mournful events of 1992 on the Boulevard de Tarata,

from where it is projected to Peru as a tribute of peace and friendship,

with its commemorative emblems, an effort that has earned us a solid prestige of quality.”

And lastly for context, some snippets from the Wikipedia article about the Terata bombing:

In 1992, Peru was in the midst of a civil war with several violent political insurgencies, the most radical and active of which was Shining Path, a militant offshoot of the Peruvian Communist Party. That year, a coup led by President Alberto Fujimori on April 5, in which he dissolved Congress as part of a broader political crackdown, aggravated the domestic social conflict

The Tarata bombing was a terrorist attack in Lima, Peru, on July 16, 1992, by the Shining Path terrorist group. The blast was the deadliest Shining Path bombing during the Internal conflict in Peru[1] and was part of a larger bombing campaign in the city.

The explosions happened on Tarata Street, the business area of Miraflores, an upscale district of the city. Two trucks, each packed with 1,000 kg of explosives, exploded on the street at 9:15 pm, killing 25 and wounding 155.[2] The blast destroyed or damaged 183 homes, 400 businesses and 63 parked cars.[3] The bombings were the beginning of a week-long Shining Path strike against the Peruvian government, a strike which caused 40 deaths and shut down much of the capital.[4]

In the wake of the incident, galvanized by public outrage, President Alberto Fujimori intensified his crackdown on Peruvian insurgent groups.