Growing up in a bilingual Puerto Rican household, I’ve always been attuned to the kind of language we use and how it shifts depending on one’s context. For me, living in Lima, Peru in 2015 was a linguistic treat: a chance to immerse myself simultaneously in a language that is mine and not mine. Peruanismos, or Peruvian slang flashcards, is the result of listening to friends, acquaintances, and strangers during my four-month stay. My co-workers were amused every time I’d briefly interject at the lunch table to ask for clarification (“¿’Hacerse palta’? ¿Qué es eso?”) and subsequently jot a word down on a Post-It.
The design of the flashcards—with their bright colors and script typeface—are meant to evoke the ever-present aesthetic of the chicha posters pasted throughout the city to advertise upcoming cumbia concerts.