Chincha and Carmen
This past weekend the gang and I went to the small town of Carmen in the department of Ica in order to learn a little about Afro-Peruvian culture as well as to have a weekend to chill out. We drove in a bus south for about 4 hours to the Carmen in the region of Chincha which has the largest population of Afro-Peruvians in all of Peru. It was weird going from an area like Lima which has very few Afro-descendants to Carmen which was predominantly Afro with very few Andean looking people. The entire visit was very chill, we stayed at what was once a huge hacienda, now converted to a hotel resort called Huaranjapo. Friday we arrived around 6 in the evening and we were able to just chill by the pool and eat dinner. The next day we went into town and learned how to play cajon, which is literally a box that you sit on and slap with your hands to make two different percussion sounds. It was really cool and the instructor was very patient with our group (we were incapable of keeping time). Afterwards we had a short lesson in tap dancing which was a much more difficult experience for me because I have five left feet and only 3 right feet. After the fun lessons we went back to the resort where some of us learned some more Afro dances and some of us swam in the pool or did homework. That night we had a bonfire and told each other stories, this was a really fun experience because our guide that went with us told us a scary story about La bruja, commonly known as witch but this story was different in that she is actually some sort of monster that scares you either to death or very nearly there. The next day we took a quick trip to a Huaca that had been abandoned by the Peruvian government due to lack of funding. It was sad to see such cool history destroyed simply because there wasn’t enough money to keep it running. After the Huaca visit we went back to the hotel, ate lunch and then we left for our return to Lima. All in all it was a very chill and interesting visit.