Koreans in Peru (Spanish: coreanos en Perú) formed Latin America's seventh-largest Korean diaspora community as of 2005 , according to the statistics of South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. They are relatively small in size compared to the other Asian communities in Peru.
The first Korean migrant to Peru is believed to have been Park Man-bok, who was invited to Peru to coach the women's national volleyball team in 1972. Under his tutelage, the team would go onto a variety of successes in the 1980s, culminating in the winning of a silver medal for their country at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
However, few of Park's countrymen joined him in Peru; as late as 1985, there were only nine Korean families resident in the country, totalling 27 individuals. A large portion did not come directly from Korea, but had instead first settled in Bolivia, Paraguay, or Chile. The population began to increase in 1993, as the economic and social situation in Peru stabilised; during the 1990s, roughly two or three new Korean families arrived in Peru every month. However, after 1997, their population fell by nearly 56% from 1,774 to just 788 by 2005, largely due to outward migration to Mexico and Guatemala in 1998 and 1999; some of those who had arrived via Chile also returned there.
The economic profile of the Korean community in Peru is widely varied and has continued to shift over the years. In the 1980s, many were involved in calamari fishing. The roughly 900 Koreans resident in Peru in 2001 included among their number 500 business people, 90 representatives of the South Korean government, 48 factory owners, 39 religious workers, and 25 sportspeople. Many businesspeople are involved in the import of products from South Korea, especially used cars, computers, and construction equipment; however, the largest portion of Koreans in Peru are involved with the textile industry. Aside from Park Man-bok, other Koreans who have made notable contributions to sport in Peru include Lee Ki-Hyung, a 1973 taekwondo world champion who went on to work as a martial arts instructor in the Peruvian Air Force and began the trend of popularisation of taekwondo in Peru, which has grown to 30,000 practitioners as of 2005.
Unlike the surrounding population, many Koreans in Peru are Protestant rather than Catholic. The largest Korean church in Peru, the Iglesia Evangélica Coreana, claims roughly 250 attendees. However, Korean Catholics in Peru also have a parish devoted to them, the Parroquia San Andrés Kim, named for the Korean saint Andrew Kim Taegon.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 재외동포현황 - 중남미 (Status of overseas compatriots - Central/South America), Overseas Korean Foundation, 2005, http://www.okf.or.kr/data/status_SA.jsp, retrieved 2008-09-27
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Araki, Raúl (2005), "La comunidad coreana - Perú - Logros de una inmigración reciente", Cuando oriente llegó a América: Contribuciones de inmigrantes chinos, japoneses, y coreanos, Inter-American Development Bank, pp. 313-326, ISBN 9781931003735
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Park, Chae-soon (2007), "La emigración coreana en América Latina y sus perspectivas", Segundo Congreso del Consejo de Estudios Latinoamericanos de Asia y de Oceania, Seoul: Latin American Studies Association of Korea, http://www.lasak.or.kr/CELAOfiles/papers/Session3/Park%20Chae%20Soon%5BSession3-2%5D.pdf, retrieved 2008-09-27
- ↑ Hidalgo Jiménez, David (7 September, 2008), "Artieda: 'Aprendí mucho de Man Bok Park'", El Comercio (Peru), http://www.elcomercio.com.pe/ediciononline/HTML/2008-09-07/artieda-aprendi-mucho-man-bok-park.html, retrieved 2008-09-27
- ↑ Yi, Yi-yeol (17 December, 2007), "‘페루의 히딩크’ 박만복, 메이드 인 코리아 홍보 전사로 ("Peru's Hiddink" Park Man-bok, to work as publicity officer for Made in Korea products)", The Chosun Ilbo (South Korea), http://www.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2007/12/17/2007121700023.html, retrieved 2008-09-27