After a long week of insightful meetings we got to enjoy a pretty fun weekend. It started Friday when we went to the Universidad de Piura (The University of Peru) to get to know our Peruvian MBA counter parts. We had a nice meet and greet with their students and got into a full day of guest lecturers who work at for profit companies that provide different services for their local communities. We had a representative from MILPO, a Peruvian mining company, Telefonica, a Spanish telecommunications provider, and from AproPisco, an organization that has helped the local fisheries in the city of Pisco dispose of their waste more appropriately. It was fun to spend the day with local students and that night a handful from each program went out and got to truly experience the nightlife Lima has to offer.
The next morning before dawn we were up and on the bus heading south. Professor Lucea had organized for us a trip to one of Peru’s newest mines. Peru has traditionally been a mining economy, mining gold generations before the Spanish ever arrived. It wasn’t easy to get deep into the mountains but when we did the experience we had was pretty cool. The mine itself is run by MILPO so we got a bit of a preview the day before on what to expect. We got to ride pickup trucks deep into the mine, collecting samples of Copper Zinc and Lead. Expecting to be crawling around in the mud, we were surprised by the impressive conditions of the mine. The average tunnel was 12×14 feet and the air quality was pretty nice.
That night at our hotel we had ourselves a feast. Sitting on the patio we enjoyed a variety of different Peruvian dishes, each one better than the last. An amazing band set up and serenaded us as we ate, and then a family of dancers came out and preformed Afro-Peruvian dances for us. The groups favorite was one where one would dance with a paper tail while their partner followed closely behind them with a candle. To our surprise they started pulling guests out of the audience to participate in their dance. Your beloved author was pulled up as well as Rachel Fuchs Engstrom, Dmitry Zhukhov and the graceful professor Lucea. Our dance moves provided quite a laugh from the other guests.
Sunday morning we got took a boat ride out to the Ballestas Islands. This group of islands just off shore is teaming with marine life. We were surrounded seabirds (including penguins!) sea lions and jellyfish. The locals collect the guano from the seabirds to use for fertilizer but they are only aloud to harvest it once every 5 years. This keeps the islands a sanctuary for the local animals.
The island closet to shore had this shape carved out of it at some unknown date. Nobody knows if it was some Incan tribute to the gods or some pirates symbol to other pirates. Either way it’s an incredible sight!