Read introduction



28 July 1821, José de San Martín declares Peru’s independence from Spain.

This is a national holiday in Peru, the height of its vacation season.

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To catch a look at how Peruvians celebrate their Independence Day, I invite you on a short trip to Huancabamba in the northern Andes:

Peru: Fiestas Patrias

And if you would like to prepare you for the internationally renowned cuisine of this country, hop over to:

A Culinary Tour of Peru / Un Tour Culinario del Perú

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But now let us head out on a poetic journey to Peru.

Pack your snacks – perhaps a chili dog (for the last Thursday of July is National Chili Dog Day) and some milk chocolate (from Peru would be befitting – for in the US, it is National Milk Chocolate Day).

For our road music, we have Peruvian singer-songwriter Felipe Pinglo Alva (who was born 18 July 1899):

Safe Journeys!


L_caputoby Lorraine Caputo29 Jul 2016

The rice fields of northern Peru
float away
with each passing mile
The Andes have receded
out of sight

& the Sechura Desert settles in

Large settlements scatter the roadside
Homes of adobe brick
or of reeds bundled together
held into walls by horizontal saplings
& perhaps plastered with mud
or walls of petate mats
Laundry dances lazily in the breeze

Beneath an early afternoon sky
lightly greyed by
high solid clouds
Donkeys fade into the pallid
landscape spotted with brush

Tufts of golden grass
bow & sway
The now-empty land stretches into the distance
Out to the east
a short hillock rises
barren white

Wind ripples the occasional
shimmer of an inland sea
left by El Niño
Garzas wade in the shallows

&once dried by the sun
only the rime is left
whitening the colorless earth

As the afternoon ages
the clouds dissolve
& the pale blue sky brightens

Several hours later I awaken
Still the same monotonous
landscape slides by
Of parched sand
ochre & bittersweet grasses
Of snowy egrets
& glimmering waters
Of burnished-green scrubs

A large black bird ascends
The sky catches
upon its broad white tail stripe
& triangular wing tips
upon its white throat

published in
Moon Reader (Nº 3, Fall 2001)

Andina Aquarelles (O´Fallon, Ill.: Snark Publishing, 2003)