Adios, Lima. We left the big city at 11:00 PM and hunkered down for a 10-hour night bus heading north along the Pacific coast to Trujillo. We were on a mission to volunteer at a high-poverty school and we couldn’t wait to meet the students and other volunteers at Hilo Rojo.
Trujillo: The City of Everlasting Spring
While we spent most of the time in our neighborhood close to school, we did visit the colorful Plaza de Armas one afternoon. We had a great time exploring the authentic local market, trying to guess what hacked-up animal parts we were looking at. While we can respect the fact that nothing goes to waste, we still find it somewhat shocking to come across a pig head for sale on a rickety table. I can say with some satisfaction that I no longer turn my head away in disgust but instead pull out my camera. How’s that for personal growth?
We spent a lazy day at Huanchaco, the local beach, watching surfers play with the waves as we lounged on the sand. We observed hardworking fisherman return to shore on their distinct-looking reed boats sporting their daily catch. Did you know that, according to some researchers, Huanchaco is the birthplace of ceviche? Wherever its origin, it’s certainly a dish widely consumed all over Peru, particularly at lunch time.
We spent another afternoon walking around the archaeological site Chan Chan, the largest Pre-Columbian city in South America. The walls are made of adobe brick and it’s amazing that they are still standing since the city was built in 850 CE.
Volunteering at Hilo Rojo School
The main reason we came to Trujillo was to volunteer at Hilo Rojo, a high poverty school in the poorest Trujillo neighborhood. To read about our incredible experience, click here.