Virginia touts that it is a place for lovers…but I would argue that Peru is all about love. It is clear that citizens who live in Miraflores and Lima celebrate their sexuality and are not afraid of public displays of affection. Throughout the city, sculptures of men and women embracing each other affectionately and often stealing a kiss.
When we visited the Museo Larco there was a section that was named erotica. I have been to many museums over the years, and I have seen many fertility sculptures or vessels. However, I have never seen sculptures of figures having sex. This was a whole room that many people would see as inappropriate, but I learned that love and passion are an important part of their culture.
As we walked through the city of Cusco, I didn’t see as many public displays of affection but rather a sense of love for their country and traditions. Everywhere you see the Cusco flag and many women dressed in traditional garb. The celebration – Inti Raymi- brought thousands of Peruvians to the streets of Cusco to honor the winter solstice and the new year.
As a guest in this country I am in awe of the people. They do not have much in way of material objects. Poverty has an obvious impact on their daily lives. The monthly minimum wage for most Peruvians is about $300. Teachers in public schools make around $500-600 a month and the average monthly income for a middle class family is $1200. These facts connect with my last blog when I asked what does it mean to be a Peruvian?
The people of Peru are definitely proud of there culture and traditions.. . despite challenges such as poverty. Yet, they are people filled with love: love for each other, love for tradition, and love for their country. Through exploration I am beginning to understand what it means to be a Peruvian, however there is still so much to learn. I am so blessed to have this experience.