It has officially been five days since I first landed in Lima, Perú’s capital. While the weather was pretty awesome on Monday, winter has since settled in and as a result, it is pretty cold! Nonetheless, the chilly weather hasn’t stopped me from traveling across Lima to interview key stakeholders, and of course, to visit the city.
I am currently staying at the Pariwana Backpacker, a hostel located in Lima’s Miraflores district. The hostel is great (very clean, safe, conveniently located and the staff is really nice and helpful) and is full of tourists from all over the world who are also exploring Perú. I share a room with four other women, which I thoroughly enjoy because I am fortunate enough to meet people on the road and learn from their interesting international travels.
As it pertains to my daily routine, I wake up at 7am every morning and get ready for breakfast, which consists of milk and coffee, bread and eggs provided by the hostel. I take this daily hearty breakfast seriously (I am not a breakfast person) because it gives me enough energy to wander through Lima for hours. Insofar, I have successfully interviewed five stakeholders ranging from the Peruvian government to the civil society sector, which has been a blessing because I have learned a lot from their different experiences on the issue.
Lourdes Huanca Atencio, President of the National Federation of Rural, Indigenous and Native Women, and Artisans of Peru and I
Sra. Milagros Castro and I
Sra. Clara Gisella Cruzalegui Rangel, Esq. and I
Thankfully, most of my interviews were held in different parts of Lima, which enabled me to visit various distritos of the city. Interestingly enough, I had an interview scheduled on Wednesday morning at the Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales (CEPES), an NGO that aims at improving the production and living conditions of Peruvian farmers. The CEPES’ HQ happens to located right between Peru’s Ministry of Labor and Promotion of Employment and its Ministry of Health in the district of Jesús María. After my interview, I attempted to leave the building but to no avail because of the strong smell of tear gas. As I remained stranded in the building for an extra hour, I witnessed a confrontation between medical professionals and Peruvian police forces as the former were protesting against the government’s failure to fulfill a series of collective agreements in regard to their working conditions. Thankfully, the CEPES’s staff made me feel safe until the situation was defused and I got back to the hostel with no harm!