Encantada, Trujillo!

October 21, 2008

Today was my first day in Trujillo and I loved it! Lima was pretty foggy and smoggy, Trujillo was all sunshine all day long.  The city is 750,000 people strong, but feels much more like a town to me – though that may because I’ve only been near the historic center and only on a quiet Sunday.


Trujillo was founded by Pizarro himself in the 1530’s and from here Peru’s first cries for independence from Spain in (1820) were sounded.  The historic center has a very colonial feel, complete with a large plaza from which narrow lanes branch out to the north, south, east and west.  I live about five blocks west of the Plaza de las Armas just outside the historic center. 



Once you cross Espana Street (the circular street that traces the old city wall) the development is more modern and the streets wider.  I live one block outside of this circle at the Residencial VANINI.  Today I learned that the barking dogs I heard when I arrived last night actually all live at my house.  Their job is to stand on the rooftop terrace and bow wow at anyone who walks by.



So far I like my location.  I’m within three blocks of  the bank, the grocery store, the internet cafes and the office.  Plus I have this awesome view of the gardens…



A great outdoor area for reading books…



Oh, and all the Fox News Channel I can handle.  After a couple of hours watching this morning, you’d think the ACORN scandal was rocking the nation right now.  Whatever, I have faith – GOBAMA!!! (update: I also discovered I have Al Jazeera – which come to find out isnt a terrorist journalism network! Go figure, I´ve been brain-washed. Sorry, Fox, you´ve been bumped.)


After I had my fill of Fox, I took to the streets to explore my new town.  I milled around the Plaza de las Aramas along with all the happy families who had the same idea as me for their Sunday afternoons.  Everyone was eating ice cream and basking in seventy-something degree weather.


There was also some sort of celebration going on at the cathedral in the northeast corner of the plaza.  A dozen men were dancing in front of the church dressed in red, blue, yellow and green clothing and masks made of the… face-hides of goats, sheep and… some other kinds of dead, faceless animals.  Everyone was chanting and singing while someone played the violin.  All the men were shuffling around a family in plainclothes and some of the family members where dancing with toy doll-babies.  The men in masks all had whips which they would slash around as they danced in a circle surrounding the family and passed the toy babies around.  One guy was dressed like a woman – maybe he’s the babies’ mother? You can see in the background of this picture there’s also a statue of an icon (La Virgen?) dressed in blue with an infant ( Jesus?).  Maybe that’s who they’re representing… Hmm, yeah, I’ll definitely have to ask someone for more info.



The rest of the afternoon I spent wandering the market and streets surrounding the Plaza de las Armas…


My yummy lunch: $1.70 for Chicha (drink), Papas a la Huancaina (potatos in… yellow sauce), and Chicharrones (pork chop with rice, beans and red onion)…



A picture of me in a mini-plaza where I read my book and rested my (rabid?!) dogs …



I also went to the grocery store to grab some breakfast for tomorrow and to gawk at the purple corn.  If I had a kitchen, don’t you know I’d be trying out some purple corn cornbread recipes.



Really today was very chill and I was so happy to find that Trujillo is so great.  I’ll be honest, Lima was intimidating and I was definitely steeling myself for a repeat on a smaller scale.  Not that I didn’t grow to like Lima in the couple of days I was there, but I think Trujillo will be my San Francisco to Lima’s New Yorkey-ness.  I mean, in terms of no. population and October weather, this analogy’s right on target!  We’ll see…


Tomorrow, work starts and that’s a whole new bag of worms (can of…? tricks?  Idioms aren’t my strong suit – it’s the Filipina in me).   Anyway, I have high hopes for Manuela Ramos tomorrow.  I hope they like me because goodness knows I like them! Back soon with a full report J. Wish me luck tomorrow! Till then…



  1. I would 300lbs if all that food only cost $1.70. Plus that market looked pretty good as well.

    How do we live in the states and I have to eat tomatoes that are gassed in order to turn red but you can get nice fresh fruit everywhere else in the world. I want a inquiry.

  2. Wow – Trujillo looks positively cheery. That celebration sounds pretty wild too – maybe we should have people dancing with animal masks at the wedding 😉

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