Lima is the capital of Perú. It was built by Francisco Pizarro in 1535 on the shores of the River Rimac so that Pizarro could always be close to his ships. It was eventually surrounded by walls for protection.
Callao is a port town about five miles west of Lima on the coast. Most of Perú’s trade went through Callao. When Rosa goes to Callao to check on a shipment, she finds the murdered body of her friend near the docks.
The center of colonial Lima is the Plaza Mayor, a large open square surrounded by government buildings, a church, stores, and
homes. This was where the people gathered to socialize and organize. For the social elite, the nearby Paseo de Aguas, or Water Avenue, was a lovely place to take a stroll surrounded by gardens and greenery. This is where Rosa runs into the handsome Mr. Ochea and where she goes undercover to help catch a thieving employee.
The Real Rosa is set in the 1830s when Perú was still reinventing itself after winning independence from Spain. For generations Peruvian merchants had only been allowed to trade with Spain and new markets were slowly opening up. Mrs. Garcia, Rosa’s employer, runs a shipping business. Every voyage to and from Europe could take up to two years and was in danger from storms and pirates.