Peru is Far More Native American than Most Think

The Three Parts of a Great Lomo Saltado (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

The Three Parts of a Great Lomo Saltado (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

By David Knowlton

Peruvian cuisine celebrates ethnic and cultural mixing. Out of the history of indigenous peoples and the immigration of Spanish, Chinese, Italians and more developed a diverse and varied cuisine which is justifiably celebrated as one of the world’s great cuisines. Read the rest of this entry

By Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Cuzco receives people from all over the world. They arrive constantly to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, found nearby. Some of them decide they want to stay longer, once they are in Cuzco, in order to visit on their own, without being locked into a rigorous travel schedule.

Many, once they have made this decision, look for work to pay some of their expenses. An institution, Máximo Nivel, which is a center for the study of English, often employs them as teachers. This institute has years of history now and is known for classes taught by native speakers of English. Read the rest of this entry

Discrimination Assails Quechua Speakers

By David Knowlton

Quechua speakers in cusco.

Quechua Speakers in Cusco.

If you only speak English, Cuzco can be a wonderful experience. People are very gracious and go out of their way to understand you and make your stay pleasant. But the experience can be very different if you are Peruvian but only speak the indigenous language, Quechua.

Not long ago, almost everyone in the city grew up speaking Quechua and that language is still important in official ceremonies as a symbol of the city and its Imperial past. Contemporary Quechua speakers often have a harsh experience in the city if they do not know the Spanish that has taken over during the last three or four decades.
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Holy Week Sweets Have Sacred Meaning

Empanadas and Maicillos (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Empanadas and Maicillos (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

By David Knowlton

Cuzco returns to normal today, after a week of celebration. The morning begins with celebratory mass, for those who wish to attend, in honor of Christ’s resurrection, while in the Plaza de Armas, at the edge of the Cathedral the regular Sunday parade is schedule to take place.

In this way, mass in the Cathedral and civic parade on its edge, the twin poles of a Spanish society are re-established after a week in which the society and religion seem the same. Durkheim’s sacred and profane are distinguished again, even if in a seeming bout of Inca revenge both have their own sacred and secular halves within them. Read the rest of this entry

The Spiny Crosses of Holy Week

Cactus in Shape of the Cross (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Cactus in Shape of the Cross (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

By Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Holy Week is an important feast in Cuzco. There are a few rules guiding people’s celebration. You are not supposed to eat meat during this week. On Holy Thursday you go to gather cactus, what we call spines or thorns. On Good Friday you fast till midday. And, on that day you prepare and eat the twelve dishes of Holy Week.

The thorns of Holy Week are important. People go out on Thursday and gather them. We call them espinas chanqui. They are a kind of cactus whose arms sometimes take the form of a cross. Or people can cut them into the shape of a cross. You also buy in the markets Castillian garlic. With these two things people make an amulet, which they hang in their house on Good Friday in the morning. Read the rest of this entry

Cusco’s Good Friday Customs

By Walter Coraza Morveli

A Great Chuepe de Camarones (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

A Great Chuepe de Camarones (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Good Friday, a day celebrating the passion and death of Jesus Christ, is a day of reflection, where everyone laughs, tells stories, and shares experiences with their loved ones. It is important that the whole family be together this day. Along with everything else they eat the twelve traditional dishes. Every family has a different set of dishes, from soups and desserts to main courses. Read the rest of this entry

The Pilgrimage for Good Friday

The Pilgrimage for Good Friday

The Pilgrimage for Good Friday

By Brayan Coraza Morveli

On Holy Thursday begins what we call the recorrido (which is a path in remembrance, kind of like a pilgrimage). It begins with the washing of feet and a visit to the seven churches of the city such as the Compañía de Jesus, San Blas, San Fransisco, San Pedro, Santa Clara, La Merced, and the Cathedral. People visit them to observe the monuments that are put together in them and which remain until late at night. Read the rest of this entry

Six Desserts and Companions Needed for Holy Week

By Arnold Fernadez Coraza

Special Desserts on Holy Week (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Special Desserts on Holy Week, Maicillos, Condesas, and Suspiros (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Holy Week is in full bloom now in the city of Cuzco. It began with Palm Sunday. Holy Monday was lived in the procession where the bulk of the people of Cuzco appeared in the Plaza to greet the Lord of Temblors.

When the procession was beginning rain began to fall. People thought it would pass and they continued to follow the Lord. Then, the heavens opened and a torrential rain fell on the city. All those who were accompanying the Lord got wet and yet still the continued in order to receive his blessing. Read the rest of this entry

Fish and Sea Food Make Holy Week

Sea Food for Holy Week (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Sea Food for Holy Week (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

By Brayan Coraza Morveli

As we know, in the Christian world Holy week remembers the passion and death of Jesus. It also commemorates the twelve disciples through our food in Cuzco since we consume twelve dishes during this time.

Fish is the most consumed meat these days. In Holy Week eating red meat is banned. As a result, fish becomes ideal and is in high demand these days. Read the rest of this entry

Holy Week in Cuzco

By Arnold Fernadez Coraza

Holy Week in Cuzco (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Holy Week in Cuzco (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Holy week has arrived in the city of Cuzco. It is a celebration we do each year on a floating Schedule following the lunar calendar. The celebration begins with Palm Sunday and finishes with the Sunday of Resurrection, one week later.

During that week, every day is considered holy. During these days people in the city are expected to not eat dishes with meat. Families go shopping, beginning on Holy Monday, to buy foods that they need to prepare their popular twelve dishes of Holy Week, and on Holy Friday they serve them, although the be fair some people serve them on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry

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