San Camilo.

September 5, 2015

20150902_124957Yesterday my classmate and I went on our first field trip. We visited San Camilo which is a giant market in the center of Arequipa.

When we first walked it we were surrounded by vendors selling all sorts of weird gadgets. Our teacher told us that many of the items these people sell have been stolen. I presume this is an unfortunate reality of being legitimately poor.

At the market I enjoyed the plethora of local fruits and veggies (mostly potatoes) and practicing a lot of Spanish to make purchases with vendors.

I saw a lot of things I wish I hadn’t seen, like a bucket of freshly cut off pigs’ heads. I also saw two gigantic pigs being hauled around the market with their stomachs sliced open. *Insert barf sound* My classmate told me that what I saw was nothing. He and my teacher walked through the legit meat section where every single part of the cow was laid out for purchase – every single part. Lord, have mercy.

There were three levels to this market. The top level was filled with cages of different animals. It’s interesting how they put animals for food and animals for pets right now to each other. My classmate was talking to the vendor and pointing to the bunnies said, “These are for food?” The guy responded surprised and said, “No! These are pets!” Oh, okay. It’s just that everything else is meant for consumption so we’re just asking. Haha.

The vendors that stuck out to me the most were the witches selling baby llama fetuses and skeletal bones. These women bring in all sorts of voodoo from the jungle and sell it in the market place. Most of it is meant for good luck. Some of it is meant for protection. Some of it is meant to be sacrificed to the goddess, Pacahmama, or “Mother Earth”. Walking around the markets selling witchcraft I definitely got the creeps,  and of course it led to much spiritual digging and philosophical thinking for the rest of the day.

I actually can’t stop thinking about it. In the long run, I wonder how my heart will be able to contribute to the hurt down here.

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