My dad called me the other day and asked why I haven’t posted on the blog. The answer is three-fold. 1) I forgot. 2) I can’t bring my camera out of my house, so I have almost no pictures. 3) I’ve been struggling to find a way to present Trujillo in a fair, unbiased way, and to balance the beauty and the brokenness that Trujillo encompasses. Let me explain:
When we arrived to Trujillo, we experienced a little bit of culture shock. The threat of robbery is incredibly high here, and we don’t leave the house with more than a few Soles (about $1USD) and our cheap Peruvian cell phones in case of emergency. A guy in our salsa class nonchalantly mentioned that he was mugged 4 days earlier, many of the taxis are fake and are ploys to rob tourists, and we saw a man shoot at someone in the middle of the day when we were walking home from the supermarket. I really didn’t know how to process everything around me, and present it in a way that was fair to Trujillo. Now, however, I’ve fallen in love with the city, and I think I can describe it in a more balanced way.
Trujillo is a vibrant, colorful, and bustling city. Known as the City of Spring, Trujillo embraces everything from colorful flowers, to music and dancing, to incredible food and festivals. We attended the Festival de la Primavera, the largest annual parade in Trujillo celebrating the start of Spring. We also saw Marinera dancers in the streets, and you can literally feel the anticipation of spring as you walk through downtown. It was awesome to see, and I completely understand why the locals love this time of year so much.
Trujillo also has amazing people. The pride for the city rivals that of Texas pride, and everyone is so excited to meet us and show us the best parts of Trujillo. We’ve had countless school children ask us to speak English with them, and we’ve had many opportunities to work in public health campaigns in the more economically depressed area of the city.
Speaking of which, Ryan and I are excited to announce that we are working on a photography project together!! Our goal is to demonstrate what life in a lower socioeconomic region is like, and how happy the people are despite their circumstances. We’ll be creating an exhibit in the Trujillo art gallery in November to showcase this project. It is so uplifting and inspiring to meet these people, both adults and children alike, and we are so thankful for an opportunity to connect others with this area of the city.
There is a lot of brokenness in Trujillo, and you see it in the violence, crime, and poverty. But there is even more beauty here, and it’s everywhere — the people, the culture, the gardens, the mountains, the radiant smiles of the children, and the laugh lines around the lips of the older woman on the bus next to you. I am so thankful for the opportunity to live & love here.