Cultures in Peru

Our Journey 3 was based around a comparative study of Peru and the Chesapeake Bay. During our journey, we experienced many similarities between the two locations even though they are in different hemispheres. Peru is a developing country in the sense that poverty rate is decreasing, educational priorities are increasing, and a domestication of foreign trade is increasing. All these aspects are great for the economy of Peru and is a major switch to an industrialized nation. In the Chesapeake, we made this switch in the late 1800s of the use of railroads and packaging technology. This is known as the industrial revolution. Because now that Peru is in this transition faze, I have fear that this country will become to industrialized and will loose its cultural aspects.

What is culture? Culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviors, interactions, and affective understanding that are learned through socializing within a group of individuals. These shared patterns identify the members of culture groups while also distinguishing those of another group. But overtime, some cultures can be lost due to globalization and technology. It’s easier for people to leave their country or group and expand to new locations to which may have a better opportunity or offers. Some cultures are secluded by a language barrer. Now, English is becoming more common as the required universal language which means that everyone around the world will be able to communicate. With the ability to expand away from cultural back ground, new foods can be introduced. Food much like language, is unique in certain parts of the world. Physically, certain foods can not grow in certain parts of the world. This expansion of food relays on communication between individuals. If humans are not able to communicate, food is not shared therefor only available to where that resource originated from. These foods sometimes shape culture for which they are the root of why cultures are developed in a particular area.

While we were in Peru, an hour plane ride and an hour bus ride took us 14,000 above sea level and through the Andes mountains to our destination. The highest part of our journey was deep into Potato park, aka, Parque de la Papa. In Parque de la papa, we had gotten the chance to meet individuals who have grown up here, isolated from parts of the world. Not many people visit this part of Peru and in fact, only 5 tours annually are taken here to learn about this culture. While we were here, we had the opportunity to meet the members and learn about their culture. They speak quetcua, which is their native language as opposed to Spanish, they grow a wide verity of potatoes as their main crop, and utilize the environment for building homes, farms, and making their traditional cloths.

We met with some of the community individuals while at Parque de la Papa. All but one seamed to only know both Spanish and quetcua. We needed a translator from quetcua to Spanish and another who translated Spanish to English. This was a reality check because we were basically playing telephone. Sometimes, our translator didn’t even understand which made it difficult to take notes. This was a prime example of the language barrier between cultures. Another cultural aspect of these people were their ability to grow over thousands of different types of potatoes in high altitude. They grow these potatoes only for themselves which is very interesting because their entire diet is based around potatoes. We had the privilege of eating at the only restaurant which their meal was based around potatoes. Never thought their could be so many delicious meals only made with potatoes. I don’t think you will be able to find a restaurant like this anywhere else in the world where the supply may be growing only right up the mountain from where you live. Also, because of their isolation, they can only use the resources that the environment supplies them with meaning, houses made with clay bricks crafted by hand, uca trees cut down for structures, llamas grazing to control vegitation, and shaving alpaca hair to make traditional clothing.


Everything that these people do is by hand and that’s what sets them apart form the rest of the globe. Back home in Maryland, we hD a solid reliance on factories and machines to get our jobs done for us. The people of Parque de la papa rely on themselves and the help of their neighbors. They have a better understanding of the earth than we do and I fear that one day, this culture will be lost. We had asked them if the local warming effects the potatoes and they. Answered with a yes. But what was interesting about this answer was them believing in the science. Usually, they would answer with an explanation as to possibly one of their gods were angry with them and they had to give back, but that was not the case. They purely believed in science and that’s evidence that possibly this culture is in jeopardy of one day loosing their uniqueness.


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