Juliaca A – Life in a city close to sky.

Building in middle of heaven

Juliaca is my city, the place where I born and the place that define part of who I am. I want to dedicate this post to my friend Dan in the far Romania for whom I hope this can show a bit of what probably is an exotic city even in Peru.

Our city is at 3825 meters above sea level (12,549 ft.) in the Andean plateau, in a region near Bolivia and the old lake Titicaca. Among the several civilizations coming from the deserts of the coast, the highlands and the jungles the main and more numerous are the Aymara (my group), the Quechua and the Westerners from the coast. If I had to abstract the city it could have the following parts.

The heart: Apu Huaynarroque

Before the dances

Can you see the almost triangular hill? That’s the Apu (sacred hill) Huaynarroque. This is the heart of the city for at least three thousand years. Probably the name was originally Xullaca or Hullaqa with the meaning now long time ago forgotten. We were a city usually under the domain of several Empires and Kingdoms, first Uros civilizations, after that Aymaras Empires, Kingdoms of Collas and Lupaqas, the Inca Empire, after that the invasion of Spain that couldn’t erase us, after the independence we still grew and with the coming of the train we recovered the richness of old times with trade.

But the connection across those ages always was and is the Apu Huaynarroque, the sacred hill with two peaks because the unity has inside symmetries, one, two, three, until seven symmetries…

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Morning upon the apu

With Spaniards came the Roman church, with their figures of a Christ with blood and suffering, their divinities saying that the guilt is genetic and the pleasure is forbidden until the afterlife. So different to our religions where life is enjoyed and we say thanks to the Earth and to Sky and everything is connected and we are made to be happy. So Spaniards imposed a big cross in the top of our Apu and centuries after when Spaniards were just in History books their descendants made a sculpture of Christ, a big one in the top of the sacred hill.

Praying to the image and praying to the clouds

I went there several times, once per week, but not for the sculpture but because the hill. There are always two or three praying there. But I go because the sky looks even closer to us.

Apu’s shadow

The shadow over the city…

Spectacles of light

Party time in the sky (published before)

Being the most sacred place this is where the most important parties for our civilizations always occurs. Our muted colors are dressed with intense colors. But my favorite ones are the colors of sky at dusk.

A warm farewell

The muscle: Trading

See! a fair deal, lady

Everybody in Juliaca works trading because we are connected with the coast the jungle and near countries, so people sells hundreds of varieties of potatos, corn, exotic fruits and animals from the jungle, fish from the lake Titicaca and the sea, fine clothes from Bolivia and made in the old cities, laptops, photographic cameras and products from the black market that are impossible to get even in the capital. Sadly there is this side of the illegal trading too, in part because the State (except the tax office that is the only efficient organism) is a distant rumor: we are not only in the geographic frontier but in a social frontier. Everything works like in a parallel side without government.

In the streets and public parties there is always people selling food:

Stop a moment

Trucks stop in middle of their long travels to sell fruits like pineapples or in this case bricks:

Every brick a piece of desire

And the night is illuminated by business and street sellers in extensive sectors of the city:

Spectacular sky

Since the origin of the city thousands of years ago until our modern days we always have preferred as a symbol of status products of brilliant colors, usually in our historical tricycles:

Choose your color

And frequently we see new ways to sell, as these news seller traveling the city:

Morning news

The blood: Transport systems

Ephemeral heart (previously published)

The train is what made the explosive growth of Juliaca possible. The English engineers came and go and after them at the beginnings of Twentieth century Italians came and developed the trading of Alpaca wool, recovering something of our previous richness, according to colonial documents after the Spanish invasion some particulars could have 20, 000 heads of Alpaca livestock. The train connect us with Cusco and Arequipa, still is used by tourists but mostly for enterprises.

Also we have an international airport so our sky also is filled with the noise of planes and some times the fighters of the Air Force:

Across the blue

Bicycles still are widely used, specially in the corners of the city, but cars are being seen as more prestigious:

A hat for a hat

Motorbikes and modified motorcycles are gaining much popularity because the city with near a quarter of million of population is quite big for use the old tricycles:

A morning in the plaza

Race

Red city

Aguayos, they are textiles where ladies carry merchandise or babies in their back, it’s my favorite way of transport (but I’m not a baby anymore hehe) and the patterns indicate the city and region where it was woven, they are in the places of the Inca Empire but in Juliaca still you can see more than other cities:

Red will

But the pillar in our city is the tricycle, the city surrounding the Apu actually is a flat surface so they don’t require a big effort. In the beginning they were used mostly to move merchandise but they evolved so they could take passengers, I like much more to use tricycles than closed cars or mototaxis. It feels to me so free and noble to be moved with the force of a human being.

You can’t take me to where I’m going to go

I know that it’s not the best of the photographs (I was trying instead to portrait the lady and her shadow) but it’s just an introduction to the following post in the following weeks.

***

A little rant

Usually to westerners (and not just the foreign visitors that need to travel to Bolivia, Cusco or Arequipa but also Peruvians from the coast) Juliaca has the fame of an ugly city. Actually it’s not a touristic city, we are forgotten by the governments because we are seen as wild natives, and a big percentage of population came recently from the countryside without knowing that the city is different creature to their communities in the nature (for example they drop garbage to the street thinking it as an “outside”), so the city grew without urban planning and without professionals to educate. But there is the mistake to consider us as a kind of inferior people. With education we can reach high levels as any human on the Earth. But prejudices win and we, once a high culture with interest in genetics, continental trading, mystic philosophy and a diverse society, are considered like wild people that should be banned to another country, the city nuked and replaced by the noble and Westerner culture from the coast… while they respect and worship their robbers and dangerous people as heroes just because they are Westerners as well (in USA it could be similar perhaps to gangsta music I guess, I hear it but I don’t share the message in those songs of inevitable fate for born in a specific place)

Fortunately we don’t have two plagues:

  • American, European or government “help” in the form of donations that turn the towns around us in pools of poverty because people find easier to find an excuse to survive without work (for example they sell the jackets donated to them in winter) and no one reason to get education.
  • Tourism: tourists want to experience the “real” life so we should use our party clothes every day, we should just live in adobe homes (and not from the Imperial style but that Spanish kind that wasn’t appropriate to us for climate differences) and we shouldn’t have TV’s, tablets or cell phones with touchscreens and if we don’t take a shower the better because that way we look darker and wilder to the lenses of the photographers (as the guys that come from the capital) so they can appear as sensible people touched by the poverty (LMAO!).

If those two plagues had been in my city instead of a person capable to understand you dear reader I had been a young man asking you one dollar to survive with a disguise living in the worst conditions. For that reason every time when I read in internet travelers about the ugliness of our city (and I respect the right to say that because it’s the truth) I always feel the need to explain why my city, and I’m proud of it, is ugly, I’m not to alter the post to show it as a beautiful city, it’s not, but also I’m going to show that there are nice places too. And I hope to give an answer to the occasional reader that could come looking for data :-)

But until then a piece of beauty from my parents’ garden ;-)

A rose above the clouds

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48 thoughts on “Juliaca A – Life in a city close to sky.

  1. “…because the state is a distant rumour”… hahahaha :D You have a way with words, senor. This is an excellent post, Francis. It is well-constructed, flowing and every sub-heading has meaning and the sections say so much more about you than your land itself. I am so proud and honoured to be your friend. By all means, rant away, if you need to, at times. I can understand that perfectly. It is the same with us villagers here. The relatives who come down once a year from the cities treat us in the same way, poor country bumpkins, except that ironically we are better educated, have more culture and sense than they do. They treat us almost like poor beggars (even though they themselves live in big cities like beggars, without their own houses or living in cramped quarters and living in really pathetic conditions). Or, there are those even worse people who have made it to the Persian gulf, usually as blue-collar types, but come back with a fistful of oil-money and then treat us like poor cousins. Never mind that they are ill-educated, but once they have money they think they are superior. It is funny when they come on vacation and haughtily ask us – so what are you stupid people doing in this stupid country? Are you up to any good at all? Or just wasting your time. :D Then we have to nod our heads and say, yes, we pathetic beggars are just living in our own houses, we earn our living, we study in stupid engg colleges, we work in multinational companies, but oh, for sure, we are not as great as you. Hahahaha.

    You really must try and write your thoughts openly. What I mean to say is, expand on those thoughts. This was wonderful. It is an eye-opener and I hope that those westerners who come looking for the “quaint” barbarian Aymara read this first. I would have loved to see Juliaca. I don’t care if it is ugly. That is not the way a city is evaluated. It is the people who make a village, a town, a city or a nation. Some day, I shall, I hope. There is an old quote I remember from somewhere, probably Emily Dickinson or the Bronte sisters or someone, “You do not love a place less for having suffered in it, unless it was nothing but suffering”.

    (Last thought: In the potato picture with the woman asking for a fair trade, in the right bottom corner there is a bag filled with white disks that are thick and soft. What are those? Rice cakes? Or roots of some tree? Or something else? I would have thought rice cakes or probably something made out of the flour of roots or tubers. I am curious).

    1. Thanks, Tejaswi :-) It seems that you’re talking me from the mirror, and that is a post I’m going to write in the near future: Peruvians that goes to foreign countries to feel superior to us. They hate the country, speak violently but they think that traveling to a developed country they now represent that country when actually they are taking, to our shame, the worst and uglier of our cultures to show to the world: they just are comfortable to be poor people in rich countries so the money can be spend in their pretty and expensive Peruvian beer, they don’t care to read Goethe, compose a haiku, learn Dutch, and nothing related to what makes great the country where they go, they are our sad ambassadors. Fortunately Peruvian women are more conscious and friendly.
      Every culture calls to the foreign one “Barbarians” curiously the foreign call us that way in the sense that we should learn their etiquette (and I learn) but they couldn’t go to our level… It’s just so strange how prejudices against the different can end in ridiculous behaviors. In response I’m a rebel, I use to the minimum a language I consider foreign as is Spanish, I respect their beliefs and traditions (except when they collide with modern principles as killing bulls) but I follow my beliefs and traditions (except when they collide with modern principles as killing animals for superstition)

      Oh, next the potatoes those disks are fresh cheese from the countryside. We have to choose well because sometimes they’re quite salad, but sometimes they are quite delicious to our dishes with native food as quinoa, ocas, izaño, or others. I think I never seen rice cakes but sounds delicious too!

      1. You are right. Every culture has that – if the other people do not share a similar culture then automatically they are barbarians. In a strange way here it is the other way round sometimes. It is funny, but I used to see people sneer at me for being “too educated”. The villagers would sneer at my beliefs or lack of superstition and say “Oh, you have gone mad studying too much”.
        Reverse snobbery I call it. They are proud that they are under-educated, somehow. “Oh, you don’t believe in god? Poor you!” or “Oh, your science cannot understand this. It is much deeper than that” or “Oh, you can make money with your clever tricks. We? We have to use our skills, something that you can never possess”. Sigh! But most times I call it innocence rather than spite.
        Just like you have an aversion to the killing of bulls, here too I find the animal sacrifices barbaric. But I would not dream of coming between their beliefs, practices and pushing them in another direction. So, how is it that they then push me to believe what they believe?
        I am actually quite happy to be teased by them for going “mad learning too much”. I am not happy with ignorant practices, but then who are we to impose our thoughts and beliefs on them. (Except when it is dangerous. Some day I will tell you the story of Rafique, a boy I took under my wing and transformed into a diligent young man with a future, except that he died because of the stupidity of our people and sheer ignorance. It is extremely painful for me to remember it even now, after nearly twenty years).

        Rice cakes are ok, but you have to eat them with some curry or some side-dish or dip. In southern India we make coconut chutneys with green chillies and garlic and so on. Or, at times with chicken curry or fish or egg curry. It is merely rice, so does not have a flavour of its own.
        Those cheese disks are quite thick in the picture, must be lovely.

        Also, I did not mention in my earlier comment. What about your people from across the border? The Aymara, do you have continuous contact with them or do they think they are different because they are in a different country. What a pity it is! By right you should have had your own country by now. But then that is politics, better stay away from that :)

      2. I understand you completely, in the public school my mates sometimes were harsh because they saw me as “rich” and after that in a private school my new mates could be harsh because from coming from a public school I was “poor” XD I laugh so much for that simplistic way to reduce persons to titles. Once I defeated in a contest among schools both private and public and that prove me that the fuss is about nothing. I experience what you say, people without education ask respect without earn it for a supposed wisdom, people with education ask respect without earn it because they suppose nobody from the frontier can have the understanding of the matters they learned (and themselves think they cannot compare to foreign professionals proving that it’s nothing more than an inferiority complex) I think this is a consequence of the education based in movies and Manicheans religions and thoughts, even worse when they worship, as a way of control, poverty and humbleness.
        Said that I’m sorry about your friend. Always we suffer more for the people and animals we cared and protected.
        Actually I’m Peruvian-Bolivian, the frontier has no meaning to us beyond a place to transit, we share language, history, codes and we are a civilization. Two countries with barely five centuries are almost a dream of dust in thousands of shared unity, these modern countries can disappear but we’re going to be here still. People still travel to the parties in the Bolivian capital, I know how is the weather there seeing the signals in the sky from my city, actually when I’m in Bolivia they think I’m a native coming from the interior of the country so I do well.

      3. Yes, I know. Exactly right. Faced the same thing in college, when beating the pants of competitors from all across the country in various competitions and fests. It did not matter then that I was from a village or from a small town. But I could compete with the best and beat them too. Really has nothing to do with where you are from, but what you do with yourself. Same with the “wise men” who have the wisdom of the ages and the educated idiots whose education was a waste.
        It is wonderful and sad at the same time to be bound or freed by national borders. I have never believed in nationalism or as belonging to a certain class or type or even nation or region. (In fact, it is probably a mental disease that I hate to be classified as anything at all).
        If you remember, the first few times I spoke to you, I suggested that Simon Bolivar or Che’s dream of a united South America appealed to me? It was because of this reason. It does not matter if the cultures vary or the tribes or religions vary. But there is a common bond I feel. The sameness, whether it is between Aymaras across the border, sharing different countries or any other bond. This artificial division of boundaries between similar (I don’t mean ‘same’) people should disappear.
        For example, here we have boundaries and constant enmity between India and Pakistan. But we are essentially the same people. Yet, we will not hesitate to go to war with each other. I wish we could stop all that. I would have loved to travel to all these countries whose people are supposed to be my “enemies”. I know they are not. But geo-politics, war-mongering and biases prevents us from seeing that.

        You know, I am so glad I met you here, online :) Yes, mirrors in so many way and yet so different and from diametrically opposite ends of the earth :)

      4. I remember your reference to the Che and Bolivar, but those are projects of latinos. They are a different culture, they certainly could be united in South America but we native are another kind of civilization, borders are meaningless to us because in our society more important was to establish commercial colonies to get supplies, independently of our own empires or kingdoms or under the rule of other empires or kingdoms.
        Sadly Latinos see us as inferior people, in their imagination (except perhaps Argentinians) they feel as Europeans arrived to an empty continent, they are afraid of the nature because in their minds they think in green European meadows. But I can assure you that Aymaras in Bolivia and Peru aren’t similar, we’re the same, we can understand us without speak.
        About the Pakistan-India conflict for the character of latinos I have the sensation that Pakistan is the country that is more animated towards war, monotheist religions has this strange thing that there is a force that says them to die for a piece of ground instead to prefer the life in harmony, that there is a divine right behind aggression. Probably I’m wrong, probably not, when Spaniards invaded they were basically fundamentalists, so they used their beliefs as a justification of the diseases, blood, destruction and steal upon us. Even today for innocence they don’t notice the mistake to celebrate something so horrible with the name of “discovering of America” every year.
        Latinos could be united (well for them) or not, but to us that would be the same as European Union, something happening to people with no relation with us..

      5. I understand :) Like I said, I do not really know the cultural differences.
        If you notice, it is the same Spanish-Portuguese empire which first brought colonialism to the Indian shores as well. Again, there was this sense of Discovery of India. The truth is the Arabs had traded with us via the sea-routes for centuries before that. We had contact with Greece and other Mediterranean countries well before the other Europeans arrived here. But for them, it was “Discovery”. So I can understand your feelings.

        About Pakistan, I cannot really say whether it is religion driving them or anything else. In general, the people there are warm towards us, except in official relations, or if they are too influenced by religion. But then it is the same here. Here too we have the Hindu fundamentalists refusing to acknowledge Pakistan’s existence. It is two-sided really. But the influence of Islam over Pakistan as a national trait only happened in the late 70s and 80s. Even before that we had intense hatred between the two countries. I am not sure if it was Islam itself that helped it continue. But the very fact that it was created out of united India as a place for Muslims probably led to resentment in this country. We have fought four useless wars over nothing but barren land. This patriotism business makes reconciliation difficult in either countries.

        Francis, I am not equating you with Latinos. What I mean to say is that because of historical mistakes you cannot erase the current circumstances. They are there already, so you cannot tell the Latinos to get lost. The same with white settlers in Africa. What can you do with them? Their ancestors were cruel, greedy, exploitative. But would it be justice to get rid of them now? It is a difficult question to answer. The same with Israel and the Palestinian conflicts. The exploited become the exploiters and the vicious circle continues. I wish there could be an end to it, that is all. :)

      6. Oh, I see then that the Pakistan-India conflict seems to have deeper and more complex roots. I’ll study it more.
        I wouldn’t say Latinos to get lost, I’ve two Latinos friends (probably I’ve just four real friends) I don’t know if I could explain but frontiers among them have changed so much across the years that one with a political unity to us just would mean to pay tax to another name (of course I would pay them). If that could get them a better life then good for them, their ancestors were cruel, greedy and exploitative but the reality is that their descendants in great part are the same (hehe, as I mention in my post they talk about expulse us and destroy our city); that doesn’t make me feel with anger but with a certain preoccupation for them, because they are mentally bonded to another reality, to them to fight for their land means not the mountains or the lakes but the colors of their flags. Certainly if I would be interested in politics my idea would be of equality, I’d like to think that I wouldn’t have prejudices against Latinos or natives but like our traditions said to choose the more capable, but in our context, in this reality perhaps a bit different of the Indian we move like in parallel dimensions, we share a physical space but each of us cannot see to the other, so in Latinos’ history books they always speak of us in past (our history to them ends with Inca Empire) and in our side they are that distant rumor I wrote in this post, a State worried to set holidays and cultivate the literary genre of compose laws that aren’t meant to be practiced in the reality. It’s not hate (I wish them the best and if I can help them in something I do it) it’s just the way things seems to work better among us… I understand your dream, but Bolivar failed because he wanted a South America united under his figure and country, starts just another colonial empire with its Metropolis in Venezuela and the others just to continue its colonial subordination; Che Guevara I think didn’t have an emphasis in a political union but into a political change inside nations towards socialism.

      7. Correct. Che was not so concerned with the political union as with spreading the socialist thought and the revolution. Whether or not his ideals were right or wrong, I am always amazed at the kind of people who lived just a few decades ago. What kind of giants they were, those humans who could sacrifice everything for a cause. Even with those people who ideals are different to mine, I think they were braver humans, probably a lot more generous than the humans we have today. Think about it. Name one statesman in the entire world, who would be respected even by his rivals or enemies.
        I understand your bitterness towards the attitude that the Latinos have towards your people. It is very similar here too – either between the many religions we have here or between the castes and tribes and social classes.
        I suspect you are right about Bolivar, it would have probably ended as an empire.
        Nations and people are complex subjects, I suppose, and cannot be reduced to simplistic thinking and wishful thinking. I am sorry that I did not understand the complexities in the first place. For me, as you mentioned, it is the land that unites, not the color, religion or caste or affluence or any other factor. Here in India we have so much disparity, for example, that it is a wonder that we are one country at all. But in recent years that unity and cohesiveness is disappearing. They are ruining the kind of peace we had within, amongst, ourselves. But like everywhere else, the complexity is far deeper than we imagine :)

      8. I’m sure this time is producing great leaders as well. But they are going to be measured by the rule of time.
        For example Che Guevara died in the Bolivian jungle for soldiers that didn’t treated him with respect nor considered his enemy, it was simply like a kind of police action ordered to stop an illegal man. The people living there didn’t know about the Che Guevara and his body lied there like every body else until somebody went to check the body. In our countries socialism was used as an excuse for violence, classmates at my elementary school died malnourished because with their actions the so-called socialists (I know enough of socialism to know that it shouldn’t be terrorism nor sexual slavery) destroying electric towers and the highways forced us to a hard poverty. For that my generation is indifferent of hate politics, the effort to get a political union would be suspected because that would sound so similar to the previous generations that with those revolutions create so unnecessary wars.
        When Venezuela had more money from the Petroleum they also impulse a Bolivarian project, but it was more to buy political influence, so the name still generates doubts. But as I wrote if they succeed or not is a thing of them, we are going to pay their taxes, and respect their laws, and rebel when there are things against logic I hope.

      9. Thanks, Tejaswi. To me it’s important to say that I’m not saying “I’m right, I have the reason” but I’m trying to tell you about what happens in the reality I know from my point of view. I learn so many things about Indian reality that I’ve enriched my own point of view of your country (once I made an architectural essay of your country but that history was so ancient and diverse that I felt like it was a resume) I’d like to think that I could be doing the same to your idea, with honesty, not painting it as the utopic Peru of Voltaire, nor the tropical hell in some Hollywood movies.

      10. :) Of course, Francis, or else we would not be friends :) The intellectual honesty to say things as they are is a lot more important than saying things simply because you need to reply.

        To be honest, I only dream of an Utopia, but know from practical living that it is an impossible dream. But even in Utopia, there might be dissatisfaction, differences :)

  2. I hear the love you have for Juliaca from the breathtaking photos you’ve posted to the words you’ve written about your beautiful city. How wonderful that your city isn’t a tourist trap, and developers aren’t ready to build condos and hotels that would take away the integrity of the land and the pride of your people! I love the simplicity of Juliaca in how most travel on bicycles and are hardworking individuals who don’t rely on the government to feed or clothe them. How lucky you are to live in such a welcoming and uncomplicated city! Thank you, Francis, for sharing your love for Juliaca.

    1. Thank you for your kind heart dear Rose ☺
      I see in your words understanding (and I feel lucky for that) and make me think that you have seen the damage that sometimes good intentions can make in otherwise happy lives.

      1. Yes, and so the saying goes that hell is paved with good intentions. Ah, well…

        I did read something interesting about Juliaca, and that it’s known as The Windy City. I was raised in Chicago, Illinois which is also called The Windy City, but that’s probably where the similarities end!

        All the best to you ! :)

      2. Not so fast young lady! actually one of the nicks of Juliaca is “The Little Chicago” XD
        We have several intensities to the wind in our flat city, except tornadoes, but probably it has similarities with the Chicago from the movies (not the real), there is a big amount of trading based in smuggling.
        Of course I’d love if Juliaca had at least something of the cultural force of Chicago, its architectonic school from the end of nineteenth century defined what are modern cities today.
        Kind regards ^_^/

  3. English language that i know, do not have enough words to express what i feel, after reading your post! One day in the past, i found a gravatar black with an spot orange. I was very curious to see what is!? Know you, what i found behind gravatar? A light! You are a light in Peru, Francis!

    1. Thank you for the compliments Dan, and for encourage me to write it :-) I’m so sorry for the time but I needed to search photographs that could explain the city. Of course there are going to be more parts.
      Thanks my Romanian friend. Take care.

  4. such a thought provoking post and subsequent discussion. The photo’s are great, I would love to visit with the ‘wild people’ of Juliaca :) and see the colours while travelling in a tricycle and pray to the clouds on the sacred mountain.

    1. Thank you so much!!! I adore the beauty you show in your blog :$ I have to say that probably is one of the most beautiful blogs I’ve ever seen ^_^ A big hug from Peru :-))))

  5. Dalo 2013 on 26 August 2015 at 23:44 said:

    Edit

    Nothing quite like connecting with people around the globe, like with your friend from Peru and yourself, who inspire and simply makes the world better. Cheers to you – and continue with the great photography.


    Liked by you

    Probably the most beautiful message, which i received in the blogosphere, until now!

  6. I’m so happy for your sake that Juliaca didn’t turn into another Cusco or Puno, so that you could follow pursuits other than trying to collect tourist dollars while wearing traditional costumes.
    The story of Apu is amazing, and I’m so happy that you shared that bit of irony (the figure of Jesus Christ on top of the local sacred hill) with all of us.
    My favorite photos are, of course, the first with the amazing sky, and peeking down at the women in the market. How did you get that photo? Hmmmmm?
    A wonderful evening to you, gentle Savage :)

    1. Cusco is touristic, for fortunately is enough big so there are intellectuals, artists, historians, philosophers and old families connected to Inca lineages, but yes, there is also that theatre prepared for tourists :-)
      The view from there is amazing, but there are wild dogs :S if the evolve I hope they continue the tradition :D
      I’d love to say you that as the last Inca I’m also a kind of angel so I flied to get the pic, but the reality is that there is a commercial building and I just went upstairs to a balcony in the second floor and from there I took the picture XP
      Thank you and wonderful evening as well there my beautiful lady :-)

      1. Sweetheart-to me you’ll always be an angel :) a really smart one who takes wonderful photos.
        Besitos!

    1. Yeah! always it’s behind me so my eyes can enjoy the sky *-* Thanks for your visit Mélanita, I read your words about your time so each of your visits has a big meaning to me :-) Take care so much.

    1. Merci beaucoup, Malyloup. Thanks for walking, virtually, with me; Rose has a special way to see the world I think, I learn from her and from you seeing your world :-)

  7. I don’t know where to start, Francis… From the first pictures, I wanted to write and tell you how beautiful your city felt and looked to my eyes and heart… that picture of Apu’s shadow almost made me cry… I can very much feel your love for her and her people in your photographs and words… Not once did I feel that she was an ugly city… nor do I believe it now…
    And that picture with the lady on the wooden sidewalk (the one you say is not very good) is one of my favorites – the way she holds herself, the color of the wall, her shadow, and the man on the taxi-bike… it all feels so in the moment…. (tell me, what is the vehicle behind, by the sidewalk?… is it waiting at a light or something? it looks stopped, but there’s someone, with a great profile, sitting in it…)…
    Your words certainly resemble what mine would have been Francis. I believe that I would said my love for my city in a manner similar to yours… and claimed the right to love her as she is in the same manner you claim yours… And for sure, if Juliaca was my city, I, too, would have talked about those tourists who call her ugly without even knowing her, about her actual freedom from them, about how her people benefit from a greater sense of self-worth because of the absence of “help”…
    Your words made me love your city, Francis, they made me feel her soul.
    And that picture of a street at night, and the one with the trucks and the men selling bricks… and all the other very beautiful ones… you witness all of this with a loving heart, sowing a sense of peace and “acceptance of what is” along with it. Making life beautiful… as it is.
    P.-S. Tell me… do we see, in one of the pictures (Apu’s shadow and Spectacles of light), the part of the city where you grew up?
    Thank you Francis.

    1. Yours is a soul whose light turns my city in a beautiful one :-) The vehicle is a moto-taxi, motorbikes modified in my city to carry passengers, they are waiting the light to change to green (and by the way the car I took from the marble quarry was waiting as well… so I could grab the chance) The photograph was in a day like today, winter.
      I’m in love with your city, Montreal is such a beautiful creature when I see her with you. I see you have your sacred hill too. But we lack a version of you. I think there is nobody sensible, I try to get those moments but, long story short, is so hard…
      A city with a peculiar life it is :-) It’s my intention to show more posts, without making it beautiful or ugly, just the truth I see. By the way is actually Peruvians from the coast that are most vocal about the city, more than foreign persons. As I always say I respect every opinion but I’d like to give a perspective to understand why the city is like that.
      Actually in the photographs directly it’s not seen my home, but the second, “before the dances”, and the silhouette in the eighth, “a warm farewell” were taken from the roof of my home…
      Your welcome, Caroline, a smile saying a thank you to you :-)

  8. First, I am sorry eye problems have kept me away from your blog.

    Wow..what an entry to come back to after months absence. Just amazing to read about your love for and the history of your city. I was going to point out my favorite photo was the shadow of Apu, which was a lovely visual metaphor for your writing about the mountain, but then I read all the replies and your discussions with the posters. Now I want to say there are not many places on the internet where one can read such reasoned and inciteful history of an area. Like the U.S. your country has a bloody history, yet you are not ‘working an angle’ or bending truths to your agenda, or showing a wish to get even. You are an astute man and you are just stating facts and telling truths while showing love for your city and country. It is breathtaking really. Thank you, my friend.

    You know, in my area we have an international arts competition, Art Prize. It is too late to enter this year but should you decide to enter your photography you are more than welcome to stay with us. You seem to be a kind, benevolent observer of mankind.

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