Lima’s buses become mobile history lessons


Screengrab of the YouTube video below.

Several students in the Peruvian capital launched a program to give mobile history lessons on city buses as they drive the streets of Lima. The student volunteers inform bus users about the history of the city and the famous people whose names adorn the streets including the likes of Javier Prado, Abel Aubert Dupetit Thouars and Antonio José de Sucre. It’s a citizen movement aimed at remembering the past.

Student members of the collective "Cultura Pe" board city buses armed with little cardboard posters decorated with a photo of the historic person of the day and key dates in his or her life. The volunteers then give free history lessons as the buses criss-cross the Peruvian capital. These short lessons last a few minutes and sum up the life of one of these famous historical figures, whose name many people know but whose life story is often forgotten.

Maria Paula and Andres, two members of the collective, explain that Felipe Santiago de Salaverry was a military man who became a Peruvian politician. He went on to become the youngest president in the country’s history at age 30. He was only president for a year—he was killed during an invasion by neighbouring Bolivia.

After the presentations, the members of "Cultura Pe" finish off their lessons by distributing flyers offering users online and local resources to find out more about the city’s history.

The four friends behind this program met in university. In a promotional video about their initiative, they explain that they wanted to "share their culture” and “create a real solution for the lack of knowledge about Peruvian history.”

This initiative was only launched a few months ago, but the group’s videos posted on YouTube have already scored thousands of views. Facebook users are also expressing a lot of excitement about this initiative. Many of them have even inquired as to how they, too, can start giving history lessons in the city buses!

"I’d like to join the team" (Facebook screengrab)

"I’d like to join!" (Facebook screengrab)