Monument in Callao
My name is Camila Mejía and I am 23 years old. My migration story begins with my great-grandmother Francisca Gerkes Violich, born in 1902. She was the daughter of Esteban Gerkes and Francisca Violich Mulanovich de Gerkes. They lived in Dubrovnik and he was a merchant seaman, so he made constant trips to South America, reaching North America trading merchandise.
Francisca and Esteban
On one of the trips made, my great-grandmother Frane along with her cousins decide to accompany Esteban Gerkes on one of his journeys to America. In a customs port my great-grandmother Frane meets my great-grandfather Julio Rosasco who worked there. They struck up a friendship and began to date, the communication between them was in Italian, since my great-grandmother spoke Croatian as her native language, Italian and German, and on the other hand my great-grandfather spoke Spanish as a native idiot and Italian since his father was Italian, for which communication was not a barrier for both. They continued to go out and my great-grandmother expressed her wishes to settle in Peru, because my great-grandfather Julio had multiple properties in the port of Callao, Lima, so the ninth Francisca did not hesitate to marry and settle with him in the port of Shut up. However, she asked him to bring with her her family, her mother, her brothers and cousins, to which my great-grandfather Julio did not hesitate for a moment and in the next boat my great-great-grandmother Francisca Violich undertook her trip to America along with other relatives such as the Mulanoviches.
Francisca with her mother and brother
After settling in the port of Callao, my great-grandparents had children, including my grandmother Mirella Sonia Rosasco Gerkes who was raised by her mother in Italian and Croatian along with her brothers and her cousins.
Currently my great-grandparents have already passed away, but the Croatian culture has left us latent, we still maintain communication with our relatives who arrived together with my great-grandmother and we try to pass through our generations the love for our culture and our roots.
Author: Camila Mejía