Amigos Member Travels to Peru

I went back to Peru last August, 30 years after my '71-'73 Peace Corps service.  I have been writing for all those years to a neighbor who is my age, but had her first child at age 15.  (She came with the then 17 yr old daughter to visit me in '96.) 

My eyes burned and watered from the air pollution in Lima.  Arequipa was as beautiful as ever.  Her son took us up to the Condor sanctuary in Colca Canyon - a stunning view, but the ride over dirt roads (even tank trucks and semis use these!) was difficult. 

I was amazed to see telephones on every corner, even in the plazas high in the mountains, though the problem of clean water and sanitation are worse than I remember.  That is what the government desperately needs to fix! 

Street vendors have been moved into huge warehouse-sized flea markets.  In Arequipa every kind of product could be found in market, in mountainous stacks, but there were no people buying.

We flew to Arequipa from Lima, but returned by comfortable bus, which was double decker with hot food and movies.

I then spent a few days in Huaral, about 60 mi north of Lima.  I tried to find a map of the US or world.  I walked up and down every street in that good sized town, and not a single book could be found. Every school supply store told me I would have to go to Lima to find a map or book. 

People kept asking me if Delaware was near California.  But every

other person has a cell phone.  TV had three or four channels, mostly very gory details of accidents and killings.  It was awful.  Dollars were used everywhere.

I had hoped to see Alejandro Toledo, hoping he would remember me from Peace Corps training in Brockport, NY summer ''70, but he was out of the country that week. 

There are Peruvian nuns near me who are ministering to the Mexican immigrants working in the mushroom farms.  Also many work at the Delaware Park race track taking care of horses. 

I have many wonderful memories of Peru, part of me is still there, and I hope to return again soon. 

Dianne Tribo

Another Amigos Member Expresses Concern About
Proposed Camisea Pipeline in Peru

Hi, I am a RPCV Bolivia 99-01. You all do a great job with Yachaspa, I enjoy reading it, thanks.

I don't know if you are familiar with the Camisea gas pipeline project in Peru. It made the front page of the
Washington Post Wednesday November 20th. [Ed. Note-see p. 11 in this issue of Yachaspa for summary of the Post article.]  It was disturbing to say the least. The pipeline would cut through the Camisea area, considered one of the "26 hotspots in the world" by Conservation Int'l. and the Urubamba river valley.  A natural gas processing plant will be built by Peru's only marine reserve on the coast.  And I have

not mentioned the indigenous tribes the project would disturb, the mudding of water sources it has already caused, and erosion problems.  Those heading up the project are a consortium of oil companies from Texas (supposedly with connections to President Bush), Argentina, Peru, South Korea and others.

Although the economic advantages of exporting oil for Peru would be great, the minimum environmental
regulations set forth by the IADB haven't even been met. Even the environmental consulting group brought in to oversee the project is asking that the project be stopped.

It is sad that the impact on the local people and natural resources and animal life seem to have been
forgotten in such a pristine, untouched place.  I think if more people were aware of this pipeline project it wouldn't be going forward, or at least better environmental protection would be in place.

Is there anything Amigos de Bolivia y Peru can do?  I would appreciate any further information you may
have and any thoughts on how we could help protect these areas of Peru.  Thanks,
Britton Barbee

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Volume 13, Issue 4

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