The end is approaching and it is exciting to see our project come to an end. The Peru team has done a really good job about putting our results together. Elide and I have finished our qualitative analysis from each town, Kennedi has done a keen job with the new plant list, Francisco and Favian have both pushed through to finish their analysis as well. I’ve been thankful for the people that I’ve crossed paths this entire summer including the students from the MHIRT-Taiwan group; who we’ve been in contact with and have seen their experience through pictures. This last month of July have consisted of me appreciating the little things I have grown fond of here in Northern Peru; some of these including eating my favorite foods, fruits, coffee (specifically speaking the affogatos at La Otra Cosa) and seeing flowers and plants. The dogs here will also be immensely missed, in particular all the dogs that I’ve seen wear shirts and will be a trend I will take back to Berkeley.
Most importantly, I will miss Huanchaco’s rich history and pre-colonial culture that continues to manifest itself through archeological sites and cerro campana which we got to visit last Sunday with Peru’s finest historian, archaeologist, anthropologist, future Huanchaco mayor, (you name it): Persi. He was kind enough to show us around this massive and sacred mountain which is full of mysteries and stories (some of which he was generous enough to share with us). This site is still used for ceremonial purposes by healers, shamans, and witches. The entire walk, Persi pointed out hidden ceramics used by the Chimu and the Moche culture, as well as hidden petroglyphs and geoglyphs. Being a government owned property, most of the historical things seen in Cerro Campana aren’t being conserved or taken care of, which Persi plans to take care of once as mayor. After the 9 hour hike, I couldn’t stop thinking of how sacred yet secretive this site is; wondering if I’ll ever get the chance of stepping foot again; nonetheless becoming nostalgic before even leaving Peru.
All in all, I am thankful and appreciative of the people, the sites, the knowledge shared, the dialogues, the food and animals I have encountered. MHIRT has really made an impact to my life and career as a first generation student and will forever be grateful for it.
(If you wish to see where I am now, follow me on instagram: cihuayotl)!!