Let it be known you all, that I heart Cusco.
I skipped the Inca trail and had the privilege to spend an extra day longer in Cuzco.
I do not regret it.
Twisted little lanes, stone lined roads, taste buds beckoning smells from hole in the wall kiosks.
Massages!, the well crafted walls and ceilings and churches, the atmosphere.
But above all, these Caja Magica kids stole my heart completely.
I once again found out the place from Couchsurfing.
The owner of Caja Magica, runs a hostel that encouraged guests to volunteer in their community reach program.
They hold daily creative activities for little kids in one of Cusco’s outskirt slums.
When we went there it happened to be Christmas.
There were a lot of running around, singing, clapping and climbing over the adults going on.
The amount of warmth can move from one human being to another without understanding a single word that each other says is astounding.
When I asked if these kids go to school, the answer was pretty heartbreaking.
Some of them can’t afford it since their parents get paid by local fermented alcohol for farming.
So they come home drunk and angry.
And the behavior is apparent to some from the way the treat their friends.
You can easily spot the bully but you know you have to go deeper than just saying “Don’t do it.”
Okay. the scanner was acting up. So let me translate the bottom half.
During that day alone, I met super interesting people. (as tend to happen at any Couchsurfing events)
The self-proclaimed Poop girl was a grad student from the States researching on travellers’ diarrhea.
As around seven (almost all) of my own travelling group had caught it by the time we made it to Cusco, I could deeply relate the necessity of her work.
There’s also another foreign guy who was on his way to volunteer in Pisco for three months. Build stuff and all that y’all.
There were also the few locals who regularly volunteer for the cause and not to forget the handful foreigner that had the usual “planned to stay for three days and 4 weeks later….. ” story.
The one at the bottom right is a Dutch guy who became my touristy buddy while I was in Cusco.
The bubble said “Let’s go do touristy stuff!” and “I like Indonesian food!”
Ate we did. And touristy places we went.
But new year in Cusco’s Piazza was something.
Fireworks, firecrackers mixed with rain and some local music.
We saw one guy caught fire on his long sleeves from the fire crackers.
And he was standing 10 steps away from where we were standing.
Pretty. Crazy. Shit.
But that’s not as bad as that time we were 100 meters away from a gunshot in Detroit’s annual firework without realizing it ever happened.
Then we were going to go to a club but everybody jacked up their prices due to the new year.
And we almost went to a decent priced one when the bouncer wouldn’t let me in since I brought my real-baby-sized camera with me.
Throw firecrackers at each other. yes.
Bring DSLR camera to club. no.
But I still heart you nonetheless, Cusco!
… Stay tune for more Peru sketches to come …