Three Simple Things I Love about Carhuaz

1) The view… in the Callejon de Huaylas, I’m sandwiched between the cordillera negra and the cordillera blanca, both of which offer stunning views of the Andes as you can see…

Huascaran, the tallest peak in the Peruvian Andes at 6768 meters or 22,205 feet!
Cordillera Negra
A shot of the Cordillera Negra and the patchwork of agricultural plots

2) People are so friendly—Outside of big towns, most people say hello, good morning/afternoon/evening, and asks how you are as you walk by each other. And people really engage when I practice my Quechua, often trying to help me learn new words and phrases or just joking around a bit as we cross paths. It’s a good way to practice and make new friends! And it gives me a sense of community, of belonging, particularly when I cross paths again with someone and we stop and hug and chat.  We rarely talk to strangers in the US and the contrast is often startling when I go back and forth.

3) Guinea pig! I know many of us grew up with pet guinea pigs, but in Peru, they are not pets, but rather delicious, delicious food! Many of my friends here raise guinea pigs, which are native to the Andes, and they grow much, much bigger than in the US. The typical way guinea pig are cooked is called ‘cuy picante,’ which is basically fried, spicy guinea pig, and it’s served with aji amaraillo and boiled potatoes. Cuy is a Quechua word and an onomatopoeia based on the noise the guinea pig makes. I cooked cuy picante with a friend this weekend, but I forgot to take photos of the final product because I was too excited to eat it!  But here I am with her two sons, Giovanni (4) and Rodrigo (7) 🙂


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