Arequipa was amazing! The city’s unique cultural identity and politically active community members made Arequipa my favorite city in Peru. I was fortunate to run into a city wide protest against the Conga mine, which is located in northern Peru. There were well over 200 participants who were carrying an enormous flag of protest that has been traveling around the entire country. I followed the protest for about an hour and was able to speak to people about the issues that surround the mining industry. The atmosphere was charged with the spirit of the protestors as they marched for the closure of these mines.
In Arequipa, I was able to do a two-day trek in the Colca Canyon-the second deepest canyon in the world! I was also able to squeeze in a white water rafting trip and a Peruvian cooking class. I left Arequipa after a week and flew to Lima where I spent the final days of my trip. In Lima, the largest city of Peru, I serendipitously ran into the flag of protest again! It was a wonderful conclusion to my research. Overall, my four weeks in Peru were incredible and some of the best of my life. Now for my thesis!