Cacao and the Amazon

David Knowlton

Peru exported more cacao in 2014 than in 2013, mostly to Europe, according to recent figures provided by Adex, the Peruvian Association of Exporters. Peru sent $247.4 million dollars of cocoa abroad, especially to the Low Countries that are famous for their chocolate.

This occurs at a time when there is increasing concern for disease in other parts of the cacao producing world, and the use of child labor to produce cocoa. Most of Peru’s production comes from family farms throughout its many valleys on the eastern slopes of its Andes mountains. Read the rest of this entry

The Enchantments of Tipon

Walter Coraza Marvel

Agricultural Terraces in Tipon  (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Agricultural Terraces in Tipon (Walter Coraza Morveli)

An enchanting place where harmony reigns in the midst of its majestic organization, Tipon is an impressive example of Inca agricultural terraces and hydraulic engineering from our ancestors.

It is much visited today because of its beauty and tranquility. It has fresh air and a lot to see and do. Its beauty claims the heart and imagination of all visitors. Read the rest of this entry

Springs of Water, Puquios, Give Life

Brayan Coraza Morveli

Inca Water Fountain (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Inca Water Fountain (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Water is the most important element for life. It has vital importance for human beings, as well as for the rest of life on earth. You find it in much of the planet in seas, rivers, lakes and a combinación of water and land. As a result, it is not surprising almost all ancient cultures venerated water as something crucial for life.

In places water flows through openings in the earth. We call these springs puquios or manantiales. Inc omparison with the hot springs that also spring out of the earth the waters of puquios are drinkable.

People make reservoirs to accummulate this water and in many cases purify it for use. In our mountains where there is a lot of flora and fauna springs break forth. Animals, plants, and people find water there year round and life continues. Read the rest of this entry

The Cherimoya Season is Here

Arnold Fernandez Coraza

The Ancient Chirimoya Fruit of the Incas (Photo: Wayra)

The Ancient Cherimoya Fruit of the Incas (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

The cherimoya season has arrived in the City of Cuzco. Everyone loves this fruit that in English is sometimes called the custard apple, due to its complex yet stunningly delicious flavor.

Every Saturday, the people of Cuzco go out from their homes to the city’s many markets to obtain their week’s food. People look in the popular markets to seek lower prices. They know that the principle markets of Cuzco are the San Pedro, Vino Canchón and Cascaparo. Here you can buy anything you wish at a good price because they are the principle markets of this growing city. They receive vegetables, fruit and other foods in great quantities every day. Read the rest of this entry

Brayan Coraza Morveli

The Countryside Over Cuzco Mountains (Wayra)

Forest Over Cuzco Mountains (Wayra)

The chullachaqui is a personage from our myths and legends about the forests. He is both a guardian and a terror. Many people claim to have had contact with this creature and, in many cases, they are not such nice contacts. Some people say they got a present from him and others claim he caused them losses.

The name chullachaqui come from Quechua. Chulla means backwards and chaqui means foot. He has, as a result, various description in which he seems as if he were a person, though a short one, about one meter tall, and with small feet and a wrinkled face. Read the rest of this entry

Water and Incas in Cuzco

David Knowlton

Water from a Puma's Mouth in Cuzco

Water from a Puma’s Mouth in Cuzco

In 1992 the United Nations declared March 22 of every year to be World Water Day. Its purpose is to raise awareness around the world of the importance of water and its supply for our lives and for the ecosystems win which we live. It also as created in order to promote, year after year, UN initiatives and proposals regarding water, in conjunction with national and local governmental entities.

The key word today is “sustainable” and in Cuzco’s Regocijo Plaza a display has been set up to teach people about the challenges and value of water in its region. Indeed Cuzco faces challenges with climate change as its tropical glaciers retreat taking with themselves the traditional source of drinking water for the city. Read the rest of this entry

Fall Begins and Cuzco Turns Magical

Walter Coraza Morveli

Cuzco Plaza de Armas (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Cuzco Plaza de Armas (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Cuzco has an intense energy and magic. It attracts visitors and makes then fall in love with it, whatever part of the world they come from. Its beautiful scenery, its places, and its culture make the city one of the most attractive places on earth.

One of the most fascinating things that all of us from Cusco like is our weather.  As fall comes with the equinox it is radiant and pleasing. One of the best activities is to go out from the city into our rural areas where you will enjoy its freshness in all senses. Read the rest of this entry

Hot Chocolate in the Morning (Wayra)

Hot Chocolate in the Morning (Wayra)

David Knowlton

Cold comes in, a threat like an invader, at dawn and dusk in Cuzco.  People bundle up and look to warm themselves up from the inside in order to defeat the best efforts of the cold. A favorite defense is a tall glass of hot chocolate with milk.

In Cuzco this is not what you would expect from the United States when you hear the words hot chocolate. It is not covered with whipped cream, nor made from a powder filled with all kinds of things other than chocolate.

Instead it is rich and dark, made from bars of local chocolate that contain cocoa butter, sugar, and lots of very flavorful cacao. People add pieces from the bars to boiling water and then add hot milk to taste. Read the rest of this entry

The Surprise of Urine

Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Yesterday I was walking slowly in San Blas. I was sad because last night I had a problem with my good friend. When I arrived at the Main Square, the Plaza de Armas, I passed by an artisan. He was displaying his handicrafts. He asked me where I was from and I told him, “I am from Cusco and have lived all my life here.”

He told me his name was Timoteo. He was an older man, maybe fifty or sixty years old. He started talking to me and I forgot my sorrows. Timoteo let off good vibes that showed he was a good man.

We talked and every word he said was wise. He told me he was not from Cuzco though he had lived here almost his whole life. He said he worked always with handicrafts. “I feel good,” he said “creating new jewelry for visitors and local people.” Read the rest of this entry

Peruvian Carob, Algarrobo, Imparts Great Flavor

Brayan Coraza Morveli

In Peru there is a tree called algarrobo whose name is usually translated into English as carob. While the traditional carob is native to the Middle East, this tree, which produces a bean with a carob taste, is indigenous to Peru.

The algarrobo has the form of a big legume tree, like a massive bush bean plant. It grows pods that are similar to those of other legumes. From it is extracted a syrup we call algarrobina which has great demand in Peruvian gastronomy. Read the rest of this entry

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