Sergio said he didn't have a very big family. If this isn't a big family, I don't know what is.
The first family member I met in person was Mario, Sergio's younger brother. He visited us twice while we lived in Washington, D.C. Mario was on his way to and from Monterrey, Mexico, where he will soon finish his bachelor's in Business Administration and Tourism.
Sergio's two brothers, David (23) to the right and Mario to the left, met us in Lima when we arrived. David lives in Huaraz and works for the Peruvian branch of Caterpillar, Ferreyros, servicing heavy machinery for the mines.
The second day in Lima, we met up with their cousin, Yanira (27). Her family lives in Puno, but as a nurse, she wanted to work in Lima to get experience. She showed us the nice coastline parks there and shared some cebiche with us in photo below.
A week after arriving, Sergio's brothers and I visited his mother's family--seven sisters total, each with at least three children. We met four of the five sisters and their families in Puno. Another sister lives in Tacna, near the Chilean border.
We stayed with his tia Nora and (my favorite!) tio Leonidas, Yanira's family (below). Their cousin Yeline (center) was our tour guide and chaperone throughout the trip. I've never felt so welcome in a house before. They were even patient with me when I didn't like chuno, the classic potatoes from Puno.
Sergio's other tia, Eva (right), invited us to lunch at her house. Her husband is a rancher here in Puno, and has sent his four sons off to be educated. Alex, at the end of the table on the right, is a lawyer for the Ministry of Agriculture. Eric, who lives in Arequipa with his wife and child, is a gynecologist. Anival is a civil engineer. Their youngest son, Elmer, is studying dentistry.
After lunch, we met up with *another* branch of the family, tio Jose and tia Elsa, who have a total of four kids, if I counted right (including the two at the left of the photo below).We climbed up to a viewpoint above Puno, with a beautiful scene to the east of the lake and the city.
But we spent most of our time in Puno with Yeline, and James (left top), who is from another branch of the family. We spent a little time with James' mom and his siblings, but unfortunately, I didn't snap a picture.
What a beautiful family, and what a beautiful welcome to a new country.
I still don't have a photo of Sergio's dad, el Senor Raul. He's camera shy, but I'll catch him sometime. All of Senor Raul's family lives here in Arequipa, but I've only seen them a few times. I hope to give you more photos with them soon.