Updated: Sep 3, 2020
I jumped into a taxi headed to Miraflores. As locals call it, “look, the flowers.” Once there I decided that dinner would be a half-roasted chicken, braised in Peruvian spices in a local restaurant with an Afro-Peruvian friend from central Lima. We talked for hours about the history of Afro-Peruvians in Peru, the first upcoming Afro-Peruvian beauty contest, festivals, and the cuisine. The evening could not have been more vibrant given all that I was fed, both intellectually and physically. We retired for the evening preparing for the following eventful day.
Next stop: Chinatown in Lima. We grabbed lunch at a Chinese-Peruvian restaurant and of course my Peruvian friend ordered. The restaurant bustled with people celebrating their birthdays, the Chinese way, in Peru. I observed the cross-cultural exchange and the understanding between the Chinese and Peruvian culture. It was fascinating, the intercultural dialogue and celebration, leading me to the final destination for the day, the Japanese-Peruvian museum. A cultural fusion that locals say birthed one of the most popular dishes in Peru, ceviche.
The next day I was in Huayabo, in an Afro-Peruvian restaurant savoring a stew called Carapulcra. I was welcomed into the restaurant by an agricultural engineer and his son, the chef. The meal was delectable and the dessert platter, nothing short of amazing. I hopped into a tuk-tuk that released me into the desert and explored the oasis of Huacachina, sledding down the lofty dunes.
The following day, I took a plane to Cusco to visit a Afro-Peruvian bakery and of course sustainably glamp in the Sacred Valley, supporting rural tourism initiatives for Quechua families.
The beauty of Peru can be found in the diversity of its culture. From Huayabo to Ollantaytambo, the varying cultural identities are refreshing, profound, and inspirational.