Living in Peru: tips and tricks

Living in Peru: tips and tricks

Living in Peru: tips and tricks

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be more than a tourist in Cusco? Well, about a year ago, my boyfriend and I decided to take the plunge and find out for ourselves. We had just finished a month and half long backpacking trip through Ecuador and Peru, with Cusco as our final destination. Without jobs or a place to live, we made the decision to call Cusco our home. We were ready to find out.. what would it be like to be living in Peru? In this blog you will find our “living in Peru: tips and tricks”.

Finding a Home and a Job

The first steps in moving anywhere are the essentials: a home and a job. Finding both of these things in Cusco isn´t too hard, but you want to make sure you are finding the right job and the right apartment.

As wide-eyed Cusco newcomers, it is easy to want to take the first things offered to you, but these might not be the best available. The same goes for all things, from weekly routines like grocery shopping in Cusco to meeting friends, and finding your favorite spots and activities to do in Peru! You´ve got to put in the work to find what works best for you. However, as a semi-expert, I can make this period of trial and error shorter for you, by giving you some recommendations, from one extranjera to another! (more…)

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Main Christmas Tradition Peru: Cusco Santurantikuy Christmas Fair

The Cusco Santurantikuy Christmas Fair

Main Christmas Tradition in Peru: Cusco Santurantikuy Christmas Fair

Though Christmas time in Cusco might not be what you are used to, it is an unforgettable experience to spend the holiday season in this beautiful town. If if you are traveling in Peru and you don’t know where to spend Christmas in Peru, come to Cusco! One of the great things about a Cusco Christmas is an mayor event called the ”Santurantikuy” Christmas Fair.

Christmas Fair

The Santurantikuy Christmas Fair takes place in the Plaza de Armas on the 23rd and 24th of December, the main day of the fair being Christmas Eve.
Hundreds of vendors flock to the Plaza to set up their booths, where they display various Christmas knickknacks, souvenirs for tourists and typical Christmas food.
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How to explore the Sacred Valley in Cusco New Style

How to explore the Sacred Valley in Cusco New Style

How to explore the Sacred Valley in Cusco New Style

There are more options to discover the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas than sitting in a full and slow bus while staring out of the window. Those traditional tours are ok but give few options to interact with Cusco’s beautiful nature and the friendly people. One of the most diverse and fun tours to explore the Sacred Valley New Style, is going on a QUAD TOUR in Cusco.

 
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How the ancient Inca Traditions remain in Peru´s Society Today

How the ancient Inca Traditions remain in Peru´s Society Today

How the ancient Inca Traditions remain in Peru´s Society Today

The sacramental celebration of Corpus Christi, of the body and blood of Christ, is a spiritual ceremony held in the beautiful city of Cusco. Attending this procession, one feels within a force of contrasts, being witness to this significant Christian celebration in the setting of Cusco, the center of Inca heritage in Peru. Enjoy the colorful parade of the Christian saints while experiencing the locals displaying their colorful costumes, moving to traditional Andean music.

The festival of Corpus Christi is created from both the indigenous roots of Peru and its Spanish influences brought by the conquistadores. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Inca had their own way of worshiping and paying tribute to their holy figures – on special occasions, the mummies of ancestors were carried out in large procession and celebrated in their ancient rituals. (more…)

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Test your Knowledge about these 3 Symbols of the Incas

Test your Knowledge about these 3 Symbols of the Incas

Test your Knowledge about these 3 Symbols of the Incas

Walking through the city of Cusco, the ancient centre of the Inca Empire, we can sometimes spot faded (and undiscovered?) shapes and symbols in the stone walls and paths. A lot of neighbourhoods in Cusco still contain the original stones from the high times of the Inca culture.

We can also still find plenty of impressive Inca remains around the city. Upon visiting these sites today, one cannot avoid noticing the symbols carved into the stone that have the shape of three reoccurring animals: the Condor, the Puma and the Snake. What did these animals mean to the Inca and what mysteries do they hold today?
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Peru, land of the Potato: How the ancient root can secure food supply in Peru facing climate change

Peru, land of the Potato: How the ancient root can secure food supply in Peru facing climate change

The awareness for global warming is increasing. The governments of various countries as well as civil organizations are making a great effort to take steps towards lessening the impacts of climate changes and adapting to its current conditions. Unfortunately, the people who are most affected by global warming are the least to blame for its acceleration.

Being one of the megadiverse countries with an extremely high biodiversity, Peru will be greatly affected. Peru’s minorities, such as the indigenous population, have already been impacted by global warning. Sadly, these are the people that have the fewest resources do adapt to future challenges. The region of Cusco has already been affected by the effects of the changing conditions.
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Golden grain from the Andes

El Grano de Oro de los Andes

In the Western world it is only now starting to gain fame but in South-America, especially in Peru, it has been a common good for over 4,000 years: Quinoa. This high in protein grain, lacks gluten and is rich of calcium and iron. The nutritional value is comparable to that of cereals. Quinoa is used in soups, stews but also in cakes, breads and in Cusco, there is even a very popular ‘mermelada de quinoa’, quinoa marmalade.
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Semana Santa in Cusco: A Mix of Andean and Catholic Traditions

Semana-santa-in-Cusco-2015

Semana Santa in Cusco (Holy Week), a mix of Andean and Catholic Traditions, is one of the largest and most important celebrations of the year in Cusco. It marks the events leading up to Christ’s resurrection on the cross and is normally celebrated during the last week or March or the first week of April depending on when Easter falls in the current year. In the Imperial City of the Incas, Cusco, Catholic tradition has mixed with indigenous Andean beliefs to form a unique iteration of a celebration that is found in many cities around the world.

Events begin on Lunes Santo, Holy Monday, with the procession of the black Christ around the Plaza de Armas to Plaza de San Francisco and back again, stopping at other churches along the way. The black Christ, known as Señor de los Temblores or Lord of Earthquakes, is representative of the mix of Catholic and indigenous beliefs in Holy Week. (more…)

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Buying Peruvian Textiles in Cusco

peruvian-textiles

Textiles are important in Peru. They have been since pre-Columbian times. They have been since pre-Incan times. They continued to be important despite attempts by the Spanish to destroy indigenous culture and identity, and they are still important today thanks to renewed interest in studying and preserving indigenous culture.

Unsurprisingly, part of the importance of textiles today is economic. Who doesn’t love brightly colored, super soft, or elaborately patterned gifts to take back home to friends and family? Heck, that souvenir might not even make it back home, you’ll end up stealing your sister’s scarf for yourself on the air-conditioned airplane ride. From textiles rendered into modern-day bags, purses, and shoes to more traditional textiles like the liqlla (blanket), jakima (small ribbon), and chullo (knitted men’s hat), there are a range of gorgeous products that fill every market and standout in shop window displays. With all the variety, it can sometimes be overwhelming. How do you know what type of hat to get your dad when there are thousandsof different kinds and thousands of different people selling? How do you find the best deal or the best quality? Where can you find fair trade items? Find the answers in this Guide to Buying Textiles in Cusco.

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The Day of Creole Song and Halloween

cancion-criolla

Every year on October 31, Peru celebrates the Day of la Canción Criolla (Creole Song). The main celebrations always take place on the Peruvian coast, where the ‘musica criolla’ is rooted, but it’s also celebrated in the Andean highlands where the music is mixed with regional music and styles that already exist.

Creole Music has suffered from influences of the international music. Hip Hop, Reggaeton, Salsa, Rock, Pop, Cumbia, and Chicha have all weakened the Creole of Peru, but at the same time it’s still very much alive.
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