Afternoon in the gas station

Afternoon in the gas station

There is something special about gas stations, they are nodes to stories: the couple taking a time to be alone in a faraway place: the truck driver one day more in the long route across our deserts, jungles, beaches and mountains; a person traveling to a place not knowing if he’s going to come back again.

An afternoon in the gas station.

Climb up to the next level

Climb up to next level

This is the Cathedral of Ilo city, a part of it. When kid there were some computer games like that due the fat pixels of yore, everything seemed built with squared blocks, this image in particular made me think in Prince of Persia, I played first the second version and in school with the older machines the first one.

Despite the simpler rendering of the game there was so much sensuality in the colors, the shapes of the architecture and even the mission: to rescue a sexy princess. It was a shock to me to discover that the land of Persia is now the modern Iran, a place with so much culture but, according to the photographs shown by Iranians themselves, with an apparent lack to joy and sensuality. Who knows, as always happens perhaps the reality is different and still there are places for wild fantasy, and also is true that is easy to turn fantasy into prejudice so it’s unfair to ask reality to match fantasy.

Emptiness (and lessons of French in bakeries)


This is a treasure I found in the shores of Ilo city. Walking… I love the stones of colors, and the little details, but I didn’t see pearls :P

Lessons of French

Once I entered to the bakery and I asked for two soles of bread, I said: “Good afternoon, give me please two soles of cachitos” the Sol is our currency in Peru and cachito means “lil horn” it´s an affective way to call a kind of common bread we have in the shape of little bull horns; then the lady in the shop said almost yelling “Nooooooo! these are croissants!!!!! haha, the people insist in call them cachitos!”

One day the girlfriend of my older brother saw me after they broke to give me some documents. She always treated me with a subtle aggresiveness, and I think she did well, I hardly give trust to somebody I don’t know. But that afternoon she was quite polite and invited me to a bakery. So I asked for the Mousse of chocolate but in a badly way because I pronounced “Please, give me a mouse of chocolate” nevertheless the waiter understood and she said: “whaaaat! Did you just asked for a mouse in English?” so, to save the honor, I said… “of course, I want a little mouse made of chocolate and I don’t expect anything else to try!…”

Shapes and shadows of Santa Catalina…

Come in, I'll show you the bluest world possible

Come in, I’ll show you the bluest world possible

Weeks ago I had published some photographs in film about this monastery in a visit with my friend Melissa (they say this monastery is the biggest on the world, probably because it certainly is a small city)

I process my photographs to match what I see and what I feel, sometimes I’m driven by a certain color or meaning, shooting at the same time with film helped me to understand better the colors. I hope you enjoy the trip.

Built with blocks of blue sky

Built with blocks of blue sky

Some of the buildings have a blue so intense that even the sky with its intense blue of the desert can appear almost invisible.

Sometimes a heart of flowers can be harder to break than a chain of iron

Sometimes a heart of flowers can be harder to break than a chain of iron

I wonder if that heart is product of a sensible gardener, or just product of my imagination…

Head portrait

Head portrait

There is a trend to use HDR techniques in photographs; put it in a quite simple, and unfair because it can get nice and natural images, way it’s a technique to get the most of details in shadows and highlights. But I love deep shadows, and under the sun of the desert in Santa Catalina the shadows are almost solid, turning the architecture in a sort of old watch pointing the path of time in the slow procession of the shadows.

feline eye

Feline eye

A city without windows

A city without windows

It’s a crowded place with tourists, as I was in that moment, but being a city covering a large area there are always moments of ancient silence, that language that the ashlars of volcanic origin whisper after the heat of the day.

The photographs were shot in July, in winter; the season in the desert means clean blue skies.

If the ashes could talk...

If the ashes could talk…

I love kitchens, they are the place where a home has the strongest amount of familiar memories, conversations, moments, true life.

A red color trying to cross the blue wall

A red color trying to cross the blue wall

The photograph lines below is a place I’ve taken before so it could be familiar to you. But what I can say, I like it a lot and certainly to me it would be a wonderful place to read or just simply rest to the warm of the afternoon.

Enjoy the light and take a sit

Enjoy the light and take a sit

volumes and shapes of santa catalina

Volumes and shapes of Santa Catalina

blue and white

Blue and white

And that’s all, in a certain way it’s a sort of street photography of a city whose life now endures in a little (although quite comfortable and modern) corner. Although that’s good, I think it was a sad destiny to be in such a beautiful place but not by choice but for the cruel rules of tradition. In colonial times rich families used to send one daughter to buy influence from church. Now fortunately seems that heaven doesn’t need money ;-)

Remembering a time when it had fire

Remembering a time when it had fire

Blue desert

Blue desert


Actually this is a sunset in the sea, but I played with the image until make it cold. Always when I see a lonely light it makes me think in a kind of theatre were we, the public, still are waiting for the actors to appear…

I’m using windows 8 and the internet browser is getting a bit annoying. It insists in crashing because I need to upgrade it, but in order to do that I need to upgrade first the Windows version, he. Well, instead I installed Opera. So far it looks pretty good and quite faster, although I miss the translation in the contextual menu and the horthographic correction, haha, just kidding, orthographic correction ;-)

Vindication of selfies

Morning light

morning light

Navigating the Internet is unavoidable to find in comments (and sometimes in articles) people against food and cat photographs and selfies. I don’t know how those comments show the commenters themselves as more intelligent people but certainly they appear to be angry.

Making plans...

making plans

There are some arguments that I find inaccurate: “These last generations are narcissist in comparison to the older ones.” Wrong, I remember when kid my family always wanted a memory of special moments to us or be remembered in a specific time of our ages, it was simply way more complicated with film and expensive labs. Actually is still complicated to shot with film cameras.

Waiting to finish the work

waiting to finish the work

Others say “It’s a phenomenon due to social media.” I don’t think so, the most of photographs I take about me aren’t to share, but to control my health and a time ago to share with a lady, but to be the center of a social media, nope. And certainly in some occasion that could be a legitimate reason I guess if the image is important in work or social context. In social media they say it’s correlated with lack of friends but that’s so wrong… I don’t have friends to take pictures of me, I have them to talk or trust, not to be a kind of photographer. I think perhaps that’s a prejudice of Christians, in some way I understand to them a selfie could be a signal of pride and against their principle of humbleness so if another people make the click it’s not going to be felt as vanity or something. I don’t think there is a sin in ourselves, and if a religion says that then it’s negating the oeuvre of the creator of their thoughts for the prejudices of the intermediaries.

I remember in the eighties there were terrorists in my country, they tried to force us to do what they wanted (while their leaders were rich people that didn’t follow their rules). Since then I dislike every person that tries to say to other one how to life his/her own life. My first argument in favor of selfies would be that everybody is free to make what makes them happier -_^

You in this moment

you right now reading this post :D


About cultural identity

Yesterday I entered a chat to know about a friend in Mexico, I heard bad news about hurricane Patricia where she lives, but there wasn’t luck… While I was waiting a guy from the south of Spain talked to me (I guess a guy) and he asked me, as I had told before that I’m Aymara, the following: “Please teach me about the magic Aymara people used to build Machu Picchu.”

Magic… I told him the truth: we used science. So he begun to ask me questions about my culture but every question was referred to magic and the age of Aquarius… After a long conversation to me was clear that he had a romantic idea about us and actually it’s not so different about what tourists think about us.

Here are some myths I have discovered around the years:

  • The poorer we are the happier we are and worthy of admiration.

False, money has nothing to do with happiness: if you are rich that doesn’t mean you cannot be happy, and if you are poor then that doesn’t mean you are going to be happy. To me happiness is a consequence when we experiment something we like, it’s not a reward. I think Christians have this sense of guilt about happiness that in the last books of bible likes to give as a reward to poor people and says to them that rich men cannot reach.

It’s not worthy of admiration because people so many times has no choice about being poor. I think a rich person that renounce to fortunes for a dream certainly is worthy of admiration because is a hard decision, but not a person that is it because has born in a poor context.

One of the horrible things about tourism (Europeans, Americans, National tourists) is the attraction they feel to photograph dirty children in the streets. Guess what: their parents don’t care their skins or wash them because they know tourists are going to pay money for that “authentic” postcard.

An ascetic deserves respect of all us, poverty just for the fact to be born poor: not.

  • We are forbidden to have gadgets except the ones used by your grandparents

Sometimes I read in travel blogs about the disappointing to see villagers with TV’s. Apparently we are authorized to use just old AM radios with the obligatory two fat batteries. Why we have to renounce to live in an interconnected world? I think if I use my laptop that doesn’t change the fact that I’m Aymara it just makes me an Aymara that uses a laptop. Is that so negative? This extends to malls and fast food enterprises too. I don’t understand that fear to McDonalds or stores, actually they help buying our native products and we go if we chose, in the end it just complete our culture. Since kid I remember Coke Cola sponsors our traditional parties.

  • Our monuments and music serves for meditation and spirituality

Everybody has right to their beliefs so I’m not against them. But I have noted several people that comes to:

  1. Consume drugs to get mystic travels. That’s a part of our culture but it was just a part, the same way I don’t believe that everybody in Europe reads tarot.
  2. Perform oriental meditation. It’s a new age deformation I guess, the beliefs of the Aquarius age.  I went three times to Machu Picchu and it seems I saw in each time a different person meditating. Sorry to say but Machu Picchu was more the palace of an Inca and apparently a place to extend the frontiers inside the jungle, in a certain way is like tourists could go to the White House to perform yoga… I think people forget the Inca Empire was as every other empire, we had ascetics, but also (equivalents of) teachers, historians, scientists, spies, diplomatics, businessmen, etcetera.
  3. New age and Aquarius age. those beliefs has nothing to do with us, our main constellation is the Chakana (known by you as Southern Cross) the Zodiac symbols are imported and has nothing to do with our sky and beliefs. Even more, that is used by people to get your dollars or euros (or soles as people from the capital likes that too as they imitate everybody that is fashion in Europe) because that’s what certain tourists want to live. Sadly that new age music and those theories were never part of us.
  4. Hear our music. Sadly after the Spanish invasion our music was lost, only the religious music survived, it’s similar to imagine a catastrophe in Europe and every masterpiece of Beethoven, Mozart et al had been lost and just had remain the “Amen” in churches.
  5. Try our traditional medicine. Actually in Peru there are two obsessions: try everything that ruins your health and try everything that recovers your health. So our traditional medicine is more a signal of our bad habits, if you walk around you are going to see people usually is so short and don’t have a culture of body care.
  • The culture only survives in the countryside

That’s so sad. It seems people think that if you live in a city you are already a westerner and if you don’t “act” like that then you should go “back” to the countryside. Sadly the evidence shows that we had always more cities than the ones founded by Spaniards, and the capital had several times the size of the European capitals.

  • We all are Indians .-.

Sure?, not, really, Are you sure .-.? I was reading  this tittle “Aymara Indian Perspectives on Development in the Andes” of course I think it seems a valuable text and in our culture we never get offended if things are with good intention but I’M NOT AN INDIAN. I’m an Aymara and nothing more. The same way you’re a French or German. Let’s try what happens if I write:

“After a travel to Europe it’s a shame that French Indians have lost their identity, I saw several young men using jeans and loafers, even is sad the damage Peru has made to their culture because they use our potatoes instead of their local native cuisine; after that I saw German Indians and with such a pity I have to say that they’re a fake culture, victims of cell phones, credit cards and others modern inventions they aren’t anymore a real culture but a group without identity. Goethe would cry to see his culture ruined by the modern world, I feel cheated because I wanted to find real culture and not people with TV’s in their bedrooms.”

  • What books say about us is the truth

Bad news: actually the things you believe to know about us is an image given to Europeans so they could understand something of our thoughts. Inversely we couldn’t understand their gods that were three and one at the same time and that lack of happiness. In our beliefs there aren’t equivalents of Thor, Yahve, Odin, et al, also there aren’t demons. Spaniards thought our Supay was the demon but it was just the way we called the nature when it was stronger.

The myth of creation that Spaniards read also are versions because they couldn’t accept a world without Jesus or where the woman has the same value as the man and could be general or high leader if she was capable.

  • We are like kids

I’ve seen several times that thought, there is no equalitarian principle. If people among us commit a crime sometimes people from the capital don’t apply the law saying it was because our philosophy (LMAO!) and also tourists justify the violence in our society as if we shouldn’t follow the same rules. Once a German blogger friend said me that I couldn’t judge my culture, I don’t know why he can judge his culture, perhaps it’s this myth of the good savage and that nonsense of traditions.

What I try to say

Our tradition is the innovation. Get stuck in the past is for narrow minded people. I studied the history of our civilizations and they developed innovating and evolving, never following traditions because that means being stubborn in don’t change despite the advance of thoughts and knowledge, we cannot ignore the world.

We are like everybody: we grew up seeing Dragon Ball; wishing our classmates would be as sexy as Kylie Minogue :P, watching Hollywood and Bollywood movies; appreciating well made shoes; wanting to practice Kung fu; playing football… I don’t know, sometimes it seems we are only allowed to be poor and dance with a smile for tourists. I’m happy that tourists find ugly my city.

(Post-Data: the photograph is a metallic fountain in the plaza of Tacna city, made by the studio of Eiffel)