<<  Otuzco, 25-Mar-2015  >>

Peru's Faith Capital, green and hilly and rainy

Weekend trip to anti-Huanchaco: mountain village of Otuzco, just 2 hours away but 5 climate zones away

We did our first (weekend) trip in Peru, to a nearby mountain town Otuzco. While located only 73km from arid, hot, desert, coastal Huanchaco, sitting at 2650 meters above the sea level Otuzco is virtually an anti-Huanchaco: green, rainy, cold, surrounded by mountains, void of tourists and full of Peruvians in ponchos and traditional hats.
It’s really almost hard to believe that a place like Otuzco is almost around the corner from Huanchaco’s desert-ness.
And, best of all, I have a new precious check-mark on my To-Eat list: fried Guinea Pig (I know there are very cute, but man, are they tasty!).

Otuzco is Peru’s ‘Faith Capital’ or at least Lonely Planet claims so. They have there a statue of Virgin Mary called La Virgen De La Puerta. It’s supposedly Peru’s most sacred representation of Virgin Mary and she is displayed in a window high above an entrance of a local cathedral. When we were watching native Peruvians coming there to pray to the Virgin I couldn’t stop thinking about the weirdness of their religious beliefs. When Spaniards came, 500 years ago, they killed everybody around, ruined the whole country, turned all the inhabitants into slaves and yet these people today worship the god whom they brought along with them. The omnipotent god, whose powers were somehow limited when he decided to reveal himself only to a bunch of people around Israel and Palestine. Poor indigenous inhabitants of Americas were not given chance to see his splendor or at least hear about it, until the murderers from Spain brought the word about the almighty and all loving god with them and in whose name they raped them. And today the Peruvians worship this Spanish god in whose name their ancestors were almost all killed.
Of course religion in indoctrinated and simple people do not and cannot think about historic causalities of their religion(s), but still I found it strange how gladly the people here accept this imposed religion.

Irene once showed me on Facebook a quote from some Chilean writer. It’s sobering and frightful how much sad historical truth can be contained in so few words. The quote which was in Spanish goes like this: “When they [the Spaniards] came, we had the land and they had the Bible. Then they said ‘Close your eyes and pray’. And so we did and when we opened our eyes again, they had the land and we had the Bible”.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak