Karl arrived in Peru from South Africa four years ago, full of hopes and dreams and with a job repairing classic cars. Not knowing anyone, or speaking Spanish, it was all the more of a shock to him when the company folded and he was left penniless.
Unable to pay the rent of his small apartment he then found himself homeless. Wandering the streets of Callao, his only friend was a woman with a stand selling burgers and sandwiches.
It was during this rough time that he was approached by a street comic who offered him work. Karl, an extrovert, jumped at the chance to earn a bit of cash and quickly became Gringo Karl. His life in comedy was cemented when Maria, the mother-figure who ran the fast food, stall introduced him to Katty, a struggling artist trying to make her name in light-hearted folkloric music.
The two paired up, first personally then professionally to become The Flower of Huaráz and the Gringo Karl. Living happily together in La Victoria, they now perform their shows in parks and plazas around Lima. The strange gringo who has learnt folkloric dance and the silly lyrics being major draws.
Their most popular song is Gringo Chikchisiki.
Invited onto a variety of TV shows over the past year they are becoming well known.
As well as selling CDs and DVDs of their songs at their organised performances and street performances they also make money on the side from teaching folkloric music classes.
Karl’s future is now firmly in Peru.