On June 5, 2018, we went with Aly, a registered nurse in Cusco, to a near village. There, we were introduced to some of the organic farming techniques in Peru. Locals at the village were growing several kinds of vegetables, flowers and herbs in green houses. Most of what they were growing in green houses were flowers! It seemed that it was utilized for traditional medicine, but I wasn’t sure exactly how they used it! We also had the chance to learn about organic fishing and guinea pig farming there as well. According to farmers, Guinea pig’s meat is high in vitamins, protein and minerals that are necessary for women during pregnancy and after giving birth. We then visited a local health center at the same village. The center opens its doors twice every day. On one hand, working mothers drops-off children at the health center early in the morning. Children at the center will be taking care of by public health consultants and kindergarten teachers. Due to most children at the center were from poor families, some of them were malnourished. Therefore, Public Health consultants and teachers worked hand in hand on a program which focused on providing healthy foods for them aiming to increase their daily intake of vitamins and minerals. They constantly measured each child and kept records of their health development.
On the other hand, women of the village usually work in farms all day until noon. Thus, they needed help with their children and the center was their best option. By noon, mothers returned to pick-up their children; the center then opened its doors for another session. Yet, it was for pregnant women only. At the center, pregnant women will be followed up on pregnancy every few weeks. The center also provided lectures and workshops on healthy diet during pregnancy / post giving birth. Most women; however, showed an enormous improvement in health in their first few weeks, according to one of the nurses at the center!
By the end of the day, we returned to Cusco. Close by cathedral del Cuzco, we met Dani. Dani was our tour guy from Cusco. We went with him on two hours walking tour to the near museum and the cathedral. On the way, Dani took us on a sightseeing and explained how the Inca state existed in Peru and how it ended by the Spanish invaders in 1500’s. According to him, Spanish invaders tried to destroy and eliminate all forms of the culture when they first arrived in South America. Not only they forced the people to speak Spanish, but they also forced them to convert to Christianity and destroyed their temples. The brutality of the Spanish invaders left the Incas without any hope but to surrendered and accepted the change since. Fortunately, due to the natural geographic of Peru, some locations were surrounded by high mountains and were difficult to reach for Spanish invaders. Therefore, they were hidden from the outside world for several years until they were discovered by researchers in the early 1900’s.