Santiago de Chuco, the capital of Santiago de Chuco Province, one of the twelve provinces of the La Libertad Department in Northern Peru, is a remote, picturesque town set high up in the Andes, at the foot of the San Cristóbal mountain, first discovered by Hernando Pizarro in 1533; it is renowned for its clear blue skies and its open-hearted locals (Figure 1). Permission was granted on 23 July 1610 to found a town in the region and two days later a thanksgiving Mass was held and the first foundation stone laid by a group of Santiago de Chuco's founding fathers. Santiago de Chuco became a town in 1851 and, by decree of the law establishing municipalities, one published on 12 July 1867 and the second on 3 November 1874, Santiago finally achieved the status of city. A bustling city of some 25,000 inhabitants, Santiago de Chuco even nowadays has a remote, rural feel about it; the visitor needs to journey all night on a local bus from the nearest major city on the coast, Trujillo, to get there.
It was here on 16 March 1892 that the now famous Peruvian poet César Abraham Vallejo was born at 96, Calle Colón (now Calle César Vallejo), the twelfth child of Francisco de Paula Vallejo Benites (1840–1924) and María de los Santos Mendoza Gurrionero (1850–1918), who had married on 22 June 1869.