Dear ITiCSE 2016 conference attendees,
Welcome to ITiCSE 2016, Arequipa, Peru. We are now a week away from the conference. We have a very exciting program lined up for you and are looking forward to meeting you all in the city of Arequipa, Peru, the first time any SIGCSE conference has been held in Latin America.
Some useful tips:
Arrival at the Airport
On your arrival at the airport the best, cheapest and fastest way to your hotels or straight to the conference venue is by taxi. The preferred taxi company is XYZ. The taxis are small and driving in Peru can seem exciting at times. However they are safe and reliable. Ensure you have a card or directions to the hotel in case your driver does not have a good grasp of English.
The power supply in Peru is 220 volts, this should be ok for most laptops but just in case you are bringing other electrical equipment you will need a power adaptor.
Although it is winter the weather is approx. 22 – 26 Celsius during the day but can drop to 10 Celsius in the evening so a warm jacket will be needed. That is 72F – 77F during the day and 50F in the evening.
Arequipa is at 2380 metres (7740 feet) which is just a bit higher than Denver CO. Just make sure you walk slowly to start with, keep hydrated, bottled water and drink coca tea which is available in all the hotels. An alternative is coca candy. If you still feel the altitude then sirrochi pills are available at the pharmacies, I will have some with me.
All rooms are equipped with data projectors and a laptop. Please load your presentations before the start of the session to enable smooth changeover.
The currency of Peru is the sol (pronounced “sollays for plural”). The current exchange rate is 3.3 PEN to $1 USD. Many restaurants, taxis and shops take USD however the change is always in PEN. Most shops, restaurants and hotels take credit cards. I always carry USD as well as PEN, ATM’s are freely available.
Arequipa is a big international city so the normal precautions should be taken. The Plaza de Armas always has lots of people about, families and tourists just relaxing in the evenings. I have often walked alone and always felt safe, however it is good practice to always work in pairs or with a group as you would do in any big city.
Local food is plentiful, delicious and reasonably priced. There are plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as local delicacies such as trucha, quinoa, rocoto relleno, ceviche and camarones which are a delicacy unique to the Arequipa region and of course papa nativa which are native to Peru.
The working group meeting is on Friday 8th July at 5.00pm at San Pablo Catholic University. There will be signs directing you to the auditorium. While it is essential that the Working Group leaders attend the briefing session all working group participants are welcome and it will be a good opportunity to meet with your fellow team members. The meeting will last approx. 1 ½ hours and then the groups will be able to have an informal dinner together to get to know each other. The main square, Plaza de Armas, is approx. 1 km, a 10 minute walk, from the University. There are many restaurants in the square and thereabouts and also on the way. Dinner is at your own expense.
The Opening Reception is at 5.00 pm on Sunday 10th July at the conference venue and hosts, the Catholic University of San Pablo. Everyone is welcome and we look forward to meeting you all there.
Map of Arequipa
The map of Arequipa with the hotels, university and Plaza de Armas shown is available at http://ucsp.edu.pe/iticse2016/travel-information/ .
The proceedings of the conference will soon be available. We will send another e-mail message once the URL for downloading them is known.
Enough from us, enjoy your time in Peru and we look forward again to greeting you next week.