Peruvian makes Summit County home – for now |

Peruvian makes Summit County home – for now

FRISCO – Boredom brought Cynthia Weinstein to Summit County the first time. Romance brought her back.

The 23-year-old grew up in Lima, Peru. Though Lima is surrounded by mountains, there is no snow, so Weinstein had never skied before coming here. She and her family spent their vacations at the beach.

Weinstein and three friends came to Summit County, to work at Copper Mountain, during their summer break three years ago. Because jobs for undergraduates are hard to come by and pay little, many Peruvians don’t work in the summer, she said, and they were bored with the beach.

“We said, “Let’s go to wintertime,'” Weinstein said.

The four had read about Copper Mountain online. They lined up jobs for themselves before coming, but they didn’t have housing. So, for the first three weeks here, Weinstein and her friends stayed at the Leadville Hotel.

“When I first started, I really wanted to go back home,” she said. “It was Christmas, and I was sharing a room with six girls that I barely know. It was pretty depressing.”

But soon, Weinstein and her friends found an apartment for themselves in Dillon, and she started having fun. The four Peruvians worked together in the former Copper Commons (where Jack’s is now) and learned how to ski. Weinstein enjoyed meeting students, like herself, from other countries – Australians, New Zealanders and Argentinians included.

Coincidentally, it was here Weinstein befriended fellow Peruvian Karin Rivera. The two had grown up about 10 blocks away from each other in Lima but if their paths had crossed before, they didn’t know it.

During her last month here, Weinstein got a second job at Holiday Inn – which is how she met her boyfriend, Jake Veach.

The two dated briefly before Weinstein headed back to school in Peru. They kept in touch by letters, but Weinstein didn’t think she would return to Summit County for her next summer break.

“At the last minute, I decided to come back,” Weinstein said.

Veach was the main motivation for her return. He’s also the reason she moved here in


Weinstein graduated from college in July. Like many college graduates, she wasn’t sure what to do with her life. Her father encouraged her to get a job at a local Lima hotel. Her mother wanted her to move to Germany with her older sister.

“They wanted different things for me and I was like “What do I want?'”

At first, Weinstein thought she wanted to stay in Peru, near her friends and family, so she got a job in sales and marketing at a Lima hotel. But it didn’t pay well and shortly Weinstein realized she would be better off leaving.

In fact, Peru’s poor economy is the reason many young adults leave the country as Weinstein did. She has a number of friends who have moved elsewhere – to England, San Francisco, South Carolina, Denver and here to Summit County.

“It’s a beautiful country, but the economy is very bad.”

She returned to Veach and Summit County. The couple lives together in Frisco, and Weinstein works at the Four Points by Sheraton in Silverthorne as a front desk clerk. She wants to learn all aspects of working in a hotel so one day she can become a hotel manager. She loves the tourism and hospitality industry.

“Here is the perfect place to be for experience in hotel management,” she said.

Weinstein has never been in Summit County during a season other than winter. She is looking forward to learning how to raft and kayak with Veach this summer. She also has a bike and plans to ride often.

Still, Weinstein misses the ocean and warmth of Peru. And she misses her family. She and her mother – whom she calls her “best, best friend” – talk on the phone every day. Her father still asks her to come home.

“(But) he knows I’m better here. I don’t think I could live with them any more. It’s time to live on my own.”

Weinstein loves the people and the landscape of Summit County, but she doesn’t foresee living here for a long time. It’s not the place she lives in that’s important to her, but what she does there.

“I don’t care where I live, I just care about my career,” she said.

In a year or so, she and Veach might move to Vail or to Denver. They’ve agreed that, eventually, they want to live near the ocean – probably in California.

“But, who knows, you know? Maybe we stay here forever.”

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