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San Blas: A Wonderful Artist Colony in Cuzco

by admin on November 3, 2008

Located just a few blocks from the Main Square of Cuzco, the San Blas artist colony is not to be missed. Although you have to climb a fairly steep hill to reach San Blas, it is worth every step! It is such a unique looking place, with its lovely colonial houses and the numerous side streets running between them. It is always fascinating to stop at the workshops and observe the many artists creating their work. The artistic traditions of San Blas, which includes mask making, doll making, stone carving, ceramics, and sculpture, have been practiced for generations by such families as the Mendivil, Olave and Merida. In one of my previous posts, I spoke of my friend, Martha Morales whose work I collect. She kept a studio in the San Blas area of Cuzco where she taught my children on a memorable trip to Cuzco. The mural they created that day hangs in the lobby of their school here in the U.S. and is a lovely reminder of their visit to San Blas.

The Famous Dance of Trujillo

by admin on November 2, 2008

On my travels to Peru I always enjoy the opportunities of absorbing the cultural traditions of my husband’s native country. I visited Trujillo to attend the Festival Nacional de Marinera which is an event that is held every January in celebration of the Peruvian national dance. The centerpiece of this festival is the national competition that showcases some of the country’s best Marinera dancers.

Peruvian Marinera is an elegant and romantic couple’s dance with graceful moves and gestures that are augmented with the use of handkerchiefs and other props. It is a celebration of courtship that is a blending of the cultural influences of Peru. Its rhythms have Spanish, Moorish, Andean, and Gypsy origins, while the accompaniment is played on guitars, bugles and an African drum called a cajon.

You can enjoy this beautiful and romantic dance without the need to travel to the North; Lima has several opportunities to see the folkloric dances of the many regions of Peru. The one that many tourists enjoy is the buffet dinner and dance show of the restaurant “La Dama Juana” located at Larco Mar in Miraflores.