Music and Ecology: the Cultural Link in Peru 
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
4d ago
By Ben Forbes In the historic district of Cusco, Peru, there is a little musical instrument shop run by a man named Sabino. There, he handcrafts traditional Peruvian and Incan instruments. When I visited, he showed us each instrument, played them, and explained some of their origins and symbols. I purchased an ocarina. On it is carved a condor, a puma, and a serpent, which are representative of the sky or heaven, earth, and the underworld in Incan culture (Gullberg & Malville, 2011). This instrument and its symbols represent the Incan worldview and show the link between Incan and Peruvian ..read more
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Niche construction theory at Posada Amazonas
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
5d ago
By Keeli Otto Posada Amazonas illustrates how humans have engineered landscapes, including those in remote places such as the Amazon Rainforest. Through the lens of niche construction theory, I’ll explain how the Posada Amazonas ecolodge serves as an example of human influence in the rainforest landscape. Entrance to the Posada Amazonas ecolodge (Photo by K. Otto) Niche construction is the process through which an environment is modified by an organism (Odling-Smee et al. 1996, Shaffer 2024). For example, our guides explained to us that in the Amazon, the agouti are one of a few animals that ..read more
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Contextualizing the Anti-Human Trafficking Aims of Peru’s Operation Mercury
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
6d ago
By Samaa Eldadah In February 2019, the Peruvian government launched an unprecedented armed military operation to disrupt illegal gold mining operations in the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve, a major national park. The intervention, named Operation Mercury (Operación Mercurio) for the mercury pollution caused by small-scale gold mining, was launched with the stated goals of eradicating illegal mining activities and related crimes in Peru’s Madre de Dios region, from the drug trade to human trafficking to sexual exploitation (Ministry of the Interior, 2019). Historically, small-sc ..read more
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Notes from the western Amazon jungle –– are Crocs the new rain boots?
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
1w ago
By Veronika Leitold During our four-day stay at the Posada Amazonas eco-lodge located along the Tambopata River of Madre de Dios in southeast Peru, we had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in one of the most biodiverse areas of the planet and gain familiarity with the local flora and fauna while learning about the indigenous Ese’eja community’s sustainable ecotourism activities. In this part of the Peruvian Amazon, which is home to some of the largest trees in the tropics, rain does not fall continuously throughout the year, and the driest months generally occur from June through September ..read more
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Hiding in Plain Sight: Integration and Preservation of Quechua Culture and Religion
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
1w ago
By Kimberly Keravuori As a child, I was fascinated with the Moiri, the three goddesses who collectively made up the Greek concept of fate, and their Norse counterparts, the Norn. It was the idea of a life being like a thread, spun and woven, integrating with others to form a tapestry, and then being cut, that fascinated me. That interest has persisted in other forms throughout my life, as I’ve observed the intricacies of complex systems dynamics, considered how cultures ebb and flow, and seen how the facts of peoples’ lives interconnect to cause events to occur a certain way on a given da ..read more
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Why I Wish I Hadn’t Seen My Favorite Animal
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
1w ago
By Jayden Phillip I was recently blessed with the wonderful experience of being in the Amazon rainforest in Madre De Dios, Peru. As a child, I was always fascinated by wildlife and loved going to the zoo; however, it was much more exciting to me to see animals in the wild—in their natural habitat. When I found out I was going to be in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon, the first thing that came to my mind was, “I need to see a jaguar.” I love nearly all animals, but Panthera onca is one of my absolute favorites and was the only one I knew I couldn’t leave without seeing. Our guide, Rodolfo, as ..read more
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Boat on the Tambopata River
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
5y ago
Photo: T. Hilde ..read more
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Operación Mercurio 2019
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
5y ago
Illegal Gold Mining The Madre de Dios region of Peru is rich in biodiversity. It is also rich in gold. In the soil of the forest and riverbeds of the Madre de Dios, Tambopata, Inambari, and Malinowski rivers gold particles are abundant. The prospect of income from mining this gold has attracted a large influx of poor migrant workers from the Andes to the Amazon forest, especially to the large illegal mining area known as La Pampa, adjacent to the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. Most of the gold mining in the region is illegal and informal, unregulated by the state. But it can be ..read more
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The Ancient Spiritual Undertones of Peru
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
5y ago
Having seen the Sacred Valley and the seemingly endless Andes mountains first hand, it is no wonder that the Incas regarded the mountains as gods.  In a landscape where you can see glacier-capped mountains, rushing rapids, lush wildflowers, and cacti the size of cars all in one frame, worship, idolatry, and profound respect feels like the only appropriate response. Richard Webb, professor and head of the Institute of Peru at the University of San Martín de Porres in Lima, talked about the “newness” of Peru; how, in many ways, Peru is a young country.  The population in Peru has grown tremendou ..read more
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Peru, Quechua, and Potatoes: Then and Now
Public Policy Peru
by publicpolicyperu
5y ago
It is believed that there are over 4,000 different native varieties of potatoes growing in the Andes, a region generally inhospitable to most other crops. In just my short time in Peru, I definitely enjoyed one new variety of potato every day. In the time of the Inca, as our Cusco guide Maria-Elena told us, the Quechua people utilized terraces (pictured below) in order to create special micro-climates so that they could grow different crops they might not otherwise be able to at such altitude. Given particular changes in climate and land availability in recent years, these terraces present ..read more
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