By Crooked Trails Co-founder Chris Mackay
The Peru Family Program earlier this month was a great success. We had such a good time and everyone was safe and healthy. It was wonderful to have Theda (a member of the Blackfeet tribe) with us as Peruvians were stopping us on the streets all the times asking her if about her background as it was obvious she was Native American. She loved sharing and brought lots of things to give away as well. We were also joined by the Well family from Seattle.
It was wonderful to spend three days in our partner village of Chinchero. Chaska, the youngest daughter of our hosts Paulino and Vilma, is still at home and growing like a little weed and so cute. Paulino and Vilma are doing great and their weavers co-op is doing fine as well. Their son Raul is still working and living in Cusco while his wife and little boy are in Chinchero with the family.
Daughter Roxanne is deep in her studies and while we were there she managed to get a little time off to come with us to bless the new tour van Paulino will be using. The Peruvian government requires that every 4 years anyone transporting tourists must buy a new car. I was there 4 years ago when they blessed the first van. There is a special church near Pisac that does the blessings. The van was decorated with flowers and wreathes and brought up to the church. After Mass, all the cars to be blessed are parked out front (all decorated) and the priest comes out and sprinkles the engines, wheels etc. with holy water to bless them. It’s such a cultural thing and it was fun to have our travelers on the family program be a part of it. Afterwards we all went to the park for a picnic of cuy (guinea pig) and potatoes and Inka Cola. Truly Peruvian!
The new stove projects are coming along and we got to meet a man whose kitchen was just finished. He was so thankful!
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