Posts Tagged ‘Huaraz’

MSI Adds 2nd Peru’10 Program

12/04/2010

Tai Chi, Huaraz, Peru

We’ve decided to add a second program headed to Peru for August. If you’d like to learn more about the program, dates and cost, visit our webpage. The program will focus Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca. This is our twelfth year leading educational programs to Peru.  Before that, R. Richards was guiding high altitude summits.
“It’s not about tourism and snapping images” says founder Richards. “Like all our programs, it’s about learning from the culture, giving back with service, a smile and learning the language, and of course stepping out of your comfort zone.”
We will also be working more with Jorge Martel in the Cordillera Blanca on the range’s east side. Stay tuned to see images of this  region. If you’d like information please contact us.

Gold Mining in Peru

14/11/2009

By Randall Richards

Peru-Barrick Mine

Barrick's Pierina Gold Mine, Peru

I know relatively little about the issues that surround open pit gold mining, but my instincts tell me, aside from what I’ve read over the years, that it’s not a good thing, something similar to  nuclear testing – not the best for the planet,  nor the surrounding communities. There are certainly the headlines about gold mining, about toxic tailings and the havoc wreaked on local rivers and communities.  I debated whether to do more research before writing this post, and decided to simply point you in the direction of two websites, and tell an anecdote of my observations in Peru over the past 12 twelve years.

Peru-Barrack Mine Far

Barrick Mine viewed from our land near Huaraz

We’ve just purchased some land in Huaraz Peru, and within 10 or 15 miles, line of sight, to the north is the Canadian company Barrick Gold open pit gold mining operation. It just looks wrong. A whole mountain on the Corillera Negra side of the Cayllon de Huaylas (Huaylas Valley),  has been transformed into a mammoth sand pit/mound.  Aside from  the blight it produces, all natural grasslands and campasino’s (country farmers), pastures/farms have been eradicated.   I hear consistently that the Japanese are, or are about to run mines in the Cordillera Huayhuash, (scene of Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void).

Peru-Barrick Mine Settlement

Barrick's Planned Community - employee housing, Peru

On the east side of the valley, sits Barrick’s planned employee community. It’s relatively well hidden from the center of Huaraz, over a hill with newly planted pines.  But the whole thing seems abusive, elitist,  and completely out of place, in a country where there are stark differences between classes of the “haves and have nots”. This “suburb looking for a city”, looks like something outside of Toronto, or a development near Montreal, rather than a village in the Andes.

Then, there’s the taking of Peru’s natural resources, for the price paid from the highest bidder. If that’s what the goverments mean by “free trade”, they can have it. (As you may know, Peru and the U.S. have a “free trade” agreement as of a few years ago.) For more information on third world exploitation, be sure to read John PerkinsConfessions of an Economic Hit Man, or see his website, which also has a good bit on Free Trade with Columbia, which might shed some light on free trade agreements.  More on John Perkins in another entry.

As promised, here is the link for Barrick Mines and, one for Mining Watch Canada, with an interesting page entitled, Transnational Mining Tribunal: The Case of Barrick Gold Corporation in Latin America (Chile, Argentina and Peru). Barrick has multiple pages on “Environmental Responsibility, Biodiversity, Rock and waste management”, etc etc..  However, are we being hoodwinked?

For those up to speed on these issues, forgive my lack of knowledge on the subject, but take my observations at face value, especially if you’ve not been to Peru. If you agree with my take, please forward this blog to friends,  and get the word out about the abuse in Peru and other Latin American countries, its people and resources.

Peruvian Vegetarian Restaurant Grows Over Time

28/09/2009

Restaurant Salud y Vida Continues to Grow After Over 13 Years in Business – The Owner’s Dream of Cultural Food Institute Becomes a Reality.

By Randall Richards
Hauraz, Peru

D. & G. Sanchez, Restaurant Salud Y Vida

D. & G. Sanchez, Restaurant Salud Y Vida

David and Gracelia Sanchez started with a small vegetarian restaurant and a dream in Hauraz, Peru.  Hauraz is the climbing capital of Peru, and basecamp for climbers headed to Mt. Huascaran (the highest peak in Peru) or the Cordillera Huaywash (Scene of Joe Simpon’s Touching the Void).  Head cook Gracelia, learned about vegetarian cooking while attending an institute in Lima, Peru, and graduated with a diploma in whole cooking arts from the school. Since then, she and her husband have never looked back.  Salud y Vida means “Health and Life”. T

Their small restaurant, originally located on a  side street in Hauraz,  has been through a number of transformations and four or five location changes, only to come full circle back to its original location on Avenue Leonisa Lescano 632. Their new/old location is bigger than it was 12 years ago. They’ve added a second floor, a full professional kitchen and more seating. The second floor also doubles as a meeting and lecture space for David and Gracelia to deliver programs.

Their Cultural Food Institute is a lifelong dream which continues to morph. They cover topics from healthy eating and digestion to larger issues such as factory farming and its byproducts. They teach to the locals as well as visitors from Lima and other countries. David’s other job is a school teacher, and he loves to teach. His warm subtle teaching style is laced with subtle humor and a quick wit.  MSI’s blog will go into more details on Sanchez’s Institute in another entry. Stay tuned.

Joseph, Lisbeth, Kennedy, Kiara & David Sanchez

Joseph, Lisbeth, Kennedy, Kiara & David Sanchez

I first met the two with their *small family of six, (including my future God child, Joseph who’s now 11 years old), when they nursed me back to health after a serious bout of traveler’s bug. I ended up spending almost a month at their restaurant. We became good friends.  I and a traveling buddy were asked to be Godparents of their son, Joseph, which we gladly accepted. *The family now proudly numbers eight wonderful children, who all blend well together, the older girls helping with cooking and chores and some basic childcare.

Back then we talked about their opening an Institute to educate the public about good eating habits. Now it’s a reality.  Besides getting an education at Salud y Vida, Gracelia’s vegetarian fare can’t be beat. Don’t be fooled by the humble decor when you visit their restaurant – Gracelia is a master cook.  Her vegetarian tortilla de vedura (vegetable pancake) has been my favorite for over twelve years. Also try her homemade granola with yoghurt and fruit. I’m admittedly a little biased – they’re great friends, but if you’re headed to Huaraz, make sure you stop in and have some great food…..and say hi to my God child for me.

For more information on Restaurant Salud y Vida, or the Cultural Food Institute contact the author and the contact link at the right of this column.

Their address is: Jiron leonisa y lescano #632 just SE of “Plaza PIP”
In the aerial image below, their location is indicated by the circle. Note Plaza de Armas on the lower right, and the main street indicated by the yellow line running N/S
Restaurant Salud Y Vida Aerial