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In 1981 I entered the first attempt at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP). At that time, the Peruvian university classrooms were very scarce and the Entrance Examination was especially difficult. My brother Ciro, who was already studying at the PUCP two years before, was a professor at the Academy of Preparation for Access to the Trelles-Montes University, better known at that time as the "Trener". An academy with a lot of experience in Access to PUCP. Again, my studies were with partial scholarship, for being the brother of a Profe de la Trener. The Academy had to combine with the School if you did not want to waste time, and that's what I did, at the cost of increasing my academic stress even more. I had prominent classmates in the Trener (including the Peruvian journalist and lawyer Rosa María Palacios) and as Professor of History of Peru to the writer Fernando Iwasaki. I entered the PUCP at the first attempt and studied only the first semester of General Studies of Letters. They were 6 very beautiful months, full of motivation, love for life and study. Many friends of the Ecclesiastical Community of Base Héctor de Cárdenas entered simultaneously with me, and others already studied in the PUCP. To this we had to add a nice group of friends (girls from the Faculty of Education), getting to have my first official love at that time ... The friends who stood out for their closeness in EE.GG.LL. of the PUC were the archaeologist (and exVice Minister of Culture) Luis Jaime Castillo, Jaime Gálvez, Patricia Torres, etc. Suddenly, my brother Diego died during a terrible accident during a school trip to Marcahuasi. It was a trauma for all his colleagues at La Recoleta, who, in homage, baptized his Promotion as Diego Alegría, in his memory.

At the funeral of my brother was President Belaúnde (who had just started his Second Government). Belaunde, such a friend of my father (who was a Deputy of his party in his first government), was the Godfather of Baptism of my brother Diego. At the wake, already at dawn he said giving me a hug: "I was the godfather of Ciro Alegría's youngest son and I still am, so Gonzalo, count on me as if he were your Godfather too". I frequented it little but I keep a fond and noble memory of him. It was a great Peruvian.

Afterwards, my mother decided to return to Spain for a while, to "cleanse" herself of so much death that was around the house in Lima (my father, my grandmother and my brother ...), and as if by magic, I was torn from the gardens of the PUCP, plagued by trees and tropical flowers, deer and squirrels, to place me in the neighborhood of Moncloa, near the Arc de Triomf, in the Colegio Mayor Iberoamericano Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (virtual visit: -virtual /), surrounded by students from all over Latin America (Spain, Portugal and all Latin American countries with the exception of Haiti and Belize). I arrived in the fall, and it fascinated me to walk through the Parque del Oeste, stepping on the leaves that placidly floated from the tall glasses until they landed on the side of the road. Streams and mountains, typical of British landscaping, in the heart of the capital of Spain: the Parque del Oeste was a kind of green bastion that separated us from the madding of Madrid.

I enrolled in the Faculty of Sociology and Political Science, branch of Sociology. In it I made great friends who would accompany me all my life: Martin Plaza, Hilde Sanchez Morales, Joaquin Tallada Mestre ..

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Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

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UCM, Rectorate, in Moncloa. Behind the rectory, in the upper left corner of the photo, the Colegio Mayor Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, where I lived my first years in Madrid.

The Parque del Oeste, just in front of the Colegio Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.


UCM, former Fac. Of Political Science and Sociology, now School of Statistics, next to the Moncloa Palace (Government Palace), Madrid, Spain. Observe in blue, the route of my daily walk, from the Colegio Mayor to the Faculty, a healthy exercise!

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October 1982. When I arrived in Madrid, I stayed at the Colegio Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, the University Residence of Ibero-Americans (Spanish, Portuguese and Spanish-American). Above, left: crouching down, next to Dean Cobaleda. Just behind me, with glasses, my great friend the mathematician Francisco José Vásquez (with a light blue tie). With my hand resting on my shoulder and red tie, my friend Joaquin Tallada, who was the best man at my wedding years later. Above, right: paddling at the retreat with my Basque friend Iñaki Langer Lekaroz (architect). Below, left: with the Swedish-Argentine engineer Daneman, a Honduran official (with mustaches), a friend from Buenos Aires and with a beard and glasses, the Peruvian architect and artist Álvaro La Rosa. Below, right: in the gardens of the Colegio Mayor, with Dani de Daimiel, Francisco Jose Vásquez (Prof. of Mathematics for Economists at the Autonomous University and friend today), and José de Sevilla.


The first year of studies I worked so hard at the UCM, that I even learned to sleep a little. I slept naturally, 4 or 5 hours a night. My disturbed biorhythm affected the happy dream of my colleagues in the Colegio Mayor, because my room (room 314) faced the inner courtyard, and the dim light of my desk lamp generated cruel remorse to all those who were willing to sleep early. After two months he was on everyone's lips like "the mad Indian," the "satanic of 3.1416 who does not sleep," etc., etc. The engineers said it was an effect of the Phi number in my room (3.14), some kind of numerological curse that affected me to the point of delirium. The humanists said that my life was pathetically sad and / or that I used an inflatable doll to depress them, making me believe that I was "bashing" ("chancaba" in Peruvian) with relish all night. The truth is that the timid light of my study lamp (the typical Spanish "flexo"), did not really bother anyone at night in the inner courtyard, and I never made noise at night, not even during the day, except in Christmas, I used to play Christmas carols.

At the end of the first year I went to study English in the summer at the University of Nottingham and, incidentally, I took the opportunity to see my sister Cecilia, her husband and their first son, Alex, my godson-nephew who lived there. Studying English and going to the library I spent the summer, while Spanish friends sent me my notes. It had happened to me! It turns out that encouraged not to fail in my first European university year, I had 6 subjects, one validated, one Outstanding and the rest, were 4 Honors, that is, a note so high (10/10) that the University returned the cost of tuition in prize.

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Christopher Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge. UK.

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The University of Nottingham, UK.

In England, that summer I discovered two things: that if I wanted to travel in Europe, I had to obtain Honors Cards that would allow me to finance my train passes (Interrail or Bige ticket) and my stays in Youth Hostels (YHA). And the second thing I discovered, was my passion for Economic Science. A book called "The Age of Keynes" by Robert Lekachman, convinced me to be an economist. Arrived in Madrid, I bought it in Spanish to be able to doodle it in pencil, as is my habit (I almost never made chips, I remember the book and I look for the fragment from my notes in pencil).

On my return to Madrid, I went to the Vice-Rector's Office and requested to be able to combine both careers and paternalistically, the Vice-Chancellor's response was negative, on the grounds that I could lose the scholarship of my Sociology career if I failed in Economics. I was very disappointed but I reacted immediately. I went to the Institute of Ibero-American Cooperation (ICI), which was the official organization that granted me scholarships (Scholarships) and I obtained confirmation that my scholarship was for five consecutive years and that I could enroll in more than one academic year at a time. It occurred to me to advance studies in Sociology and include Economics in the final time of my scholarship. And so, I enrolled every second year, half of third and a subject of fourth year of Sociology. The following academic year I finished all third and fourth complete, and part of fifth.


On the fourth year of my scholarship, I enrolled in what little of the fifth year of Sociology I had left, and completed the first year of economics. I was the fifth temporary year to enroll in the second year of economics and I was told in the ICI that NO. That since I had finished sociology, I could go back to Peru. Major concern! Since if I returned, I would be validated subject to subject and little would be saved from my studies in Economics. In the summer of 1986 (June-August) I tried my luck at the Université de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. I did an accelerated French course for Social Sciences and to my surprise, I passed and was admitted to do Economics as a second career in only 3 years. But at that time, the woman who had accompanied me since 1983 (M. Sánchez) expressed her grief for the separation. Because I felt I was going to lose ... So I went back to Madrid without enrolling in Leuven and decided that I had to get a scholarship at least, for two more years, so that the Complutense would give me the Bachelor's Degree in Economics and I would be validated. complete in Peru. I applied to the Research Staff Training Fellowship (FPI) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and got the First Position in Sociology (Scholarships). Thanks to her, which was equivalent to a good salary every month, I married M. Sánchez in December of 1986 and I attended the fourth and fifth year of Economics (1986-1988) with the first year of my MBA at ICADE (UPCO).

Later, my serious educational effort paid off and I got a position as Associate Professor of Economics at the UCM. It was my first job in Spain (September 1989), which would be followed by my work as an executive (and later a Manager) at the Banco Atlántico, in June 1990, when I passed my classes at night shift or on weekends (Postgraduate Professor in Carlos III °, UPCO, etc.).

(1) L’Université Catholique de Louvain- la- Neuve,

Belgica. (2) Fac. of CC. EE., UCM, Somosaguas, Madrid.

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