Let me explain this title. As mentioned in an earlier post, I was raised Avenue Simon Bolivar
in Paris….as for the Hotel Bolivar, you’re going to have to read this post a bit further 😉
Yesterday was almost a mystic trip into our common humanity. It started with breakfast with a charming New Zealander on his way back after a tour of Bolivia and Peru during a finger-licking breakfast at my charming Hostal.
Miryam, my wonderful and so knowledgeable guide then took me to the Lima Cathedral which was first built in 1540 (and rebuilt three times due to Earthquakes).
The present one is all in wood, so no candles and thus a different atmosphere from the Cathedrals I visited (and those who know me know how fascinated I am by religious architecture). It also holds some precious chapels, relics and paintings. The most fascinating one and worth a visit in itself is the painting reproducing the Empire from the Incas to the Kings of Spain.
I also admired the world famous view on Lima Shanti town on the other side of the Alameida Bridge.
Lunch, organised by Miryam, was a lesson in field work with Alicia Abanto Cabanillas, the lovely Head of the Indigenous Populations Programme of the People’s Ombudsman of Peru. Click on the link to know more about it. One thing I was glad is that my grade five Spanish is so far better than no English at all. The proclaimed world language, English, isn’t yet a very frequent currency in Peru!
The evening was another highlight of the trip as, thanks to Miryam and her friend the incredible Shuar Velazquéz. Click here for more about this remarquable philosopher who is an Indigenous with a vision.
This diner was held by the American Indian Ambassadors Programme withing the structure of the AIO (Americans for Indian Opportunity )and its sister organization the AMO (Advancement of Maori Opportunity) . Founded by the Comanche LaDonna Harris and now managed by her daughter Laura, this organisation which is 40 years old “helps early to mid-carreer Native American professionals strengthen, within cultural context, their ability to improve the well-being and growth of their community”.
Last night, I was lucky to be the very poor translator between two unilingual groups at my table, the monolingual anglophones and hispanophones…Given my level in spoken Spanish, we had a hilarious conversation! However, getting to know especially Janeen Comenote from Seattle, Marion Ano from Hawaii, Kelly Gilbreth and Ojibwe from Albuquerque, Hopa Haas a Sioux from South Dakota and Jacquie Swift, a Comanche who works at the National Museum of the American Indians in Waldorf, Maryland…amongst many others just as exquisitely welcoming and charming individuals, will remain a highlight of my Peruvian visit…and I’ll see more of them at WIPCE, so stay tuned!
However, in this conversation there were mentions of various tribes’ prophecies. They all deal with the coming together of the North and the South Indian Tribes and I particularly loved the Eagle and Condor Prophecy. The equivalent for the Indigenous population of Peru is that the Inca will come back under the form of thousands of people and unite all people. When you think about it, it’s not that far from the Jewish prophecy that Prophet Elijah will come back at the resurrection of all our dead…
I’ve always had a very special connection to Indigenous Groups. Somehow they hold to ancestral and immemorial traditions like my own ancestors and the Berber in me also feel deeply moved by their incredible pride and sense of generosity, community and solidarity.
At the end of the evening which closed with Maori and various American Indian groups, I was presented with a necklace that will hold a special meaning to me!
Time to get ready for another exhilarating day no doubt…I even have secret plans to swim in the Pacific although I admit the weather is really quite damp and uninviting….Photos follow.