During our first week in Peru’s capital we began learning about local criollo culture. Celia Vasquez, our study coordinator, described Limeno greetings, habits and cuisine. James Plunkett, an American businessman who migrated here 48 years ago, taught us about Peruvian politics and economics. Father Eduardo Arens spoke about Jesus’ use of humor in the gospel of Mark and recent developments in the Catholic Church. Pedro Farias taught us dances from the coast, southern mountains and rain forest.
To learn more about animals and, in particular, the famed caballo de paso, we visited the Instituto Superior Tecnologico Privado de Tecnicas Agropecuarias an hour’s drive south of Lima. INTAP is a training center for agriculturalists who study animal husbandry and develop breeds suitable for the diverse climates found in this part of the world. The tour ended with a riding demonstration by two horsemen who showed off their caballos de paso, regarded as the smoothest-riding horses in the world.