Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Peru.

Jaen, Peru: Exploring the countryside

Posted in Peru on October 8, 2011

In the morning, our group hired a van and driver to see the surrounding countryside of Jaen. Sylvia, the chair of CEPRONAM, and Yolanda, our English translator, joined us. Yolanda brought us "grenadico" fruit. It has a brittle outer shell, like a soft eggshell. When squeezed, the pod cracks open to reveal a soft inner core full of seeds and a delicious gelatinous interior that is sucked fro the hole at the top of the fruit, created by removing the stem. Our first stop is down a dusty road to the edge of the Maranon river, a marine highway into the Amazon since the beginning of time.

What a surprise! We think we are far from civilization, only to be greeted by dozens of youth, who ask us to join them in a dance to music played by a disk jockey, with electricity supplied by a portable Honda generator. Needless to say, we all joined in, waved our arms in the air, danced and sang; some were songs in Spanish, and others were similar to "rave" music, with plenty of base beat.

In the afternoon, we passed by buildings stencilled with slogans and illustrations showing there is controversy surrounding industry practices in the Amazon. One is of a shovel that is crossed out with the words "Vota Asi" above. The land surrounding this part of the Amazon is very arid, similar to Arizona, there are "limon" trees, papaya and rice fields where the land can be irrigated. Along the road, we see HUGE wild Thanksgiving turkeys, saved from the celebrations in Canada!

Cam Grant
DWC Team Leader
Jaen, Peru: October 2011

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