Thursday 20 August

Evangelistic Bible verse (Isaiah 40:31)

Today we have a tour to Porcón, an evangelical Christian cooperative up in the hills above Cajamarca, that produces various foods, textiles, and keeps a zoo. Our guide is the same as yesterday, Miguel. We are also recognised by Eric from Lima, a softly spoken Peruvian with first rate English who was also on yesterday’s tour. (He also helped us a great deal yesterday by translating some of Miguel’s commentary when his English translation was not clear.)

It is an hour or so driving up into the hills. We know we have reached the cooperative when we begin passing a series of bill boards with key Bible texts written across them, in Spanish of course. It becomes a competition to see who can work out the translation first. There is a fairly lengthy wait just before we reach the central area because they are doing maintenance on the road and moving a large load as we arrive. It is quite noticable just how well maintained the place is and how well organised are the workers.

Left:
(magnify) Textile weaving
Right:
(magnify) Vicuña
Left:
(magnify) Caged leopard
Right:
(magnify) Please be my friend!

We first visit some women who are weaving decorative textiles on large and complicated looking looms. Next is the carpentry shop. But most of our time is spent looking around the zoo. On the whole the animals seem well cared for, but with a few exceptions – a few big cats, including puma and leopard, in lamentably small cages. There are lots of colourful birds, monkeys, and geese roaming wild and generally being slightly annoying.

Left:
Slightly annoying geese
Right:
Gardener

We arrive back in town at around two in the afternoon. I have been heeding the advice to avoid salads all holiday so far, but since we have opted for a slightly up-market looking sandwich bar for lunch, I decide to risk it and have the lettuce and tomato sandwich.

We spend the rest of the afternoon back at the hotel. We pay for our room and book a taxi for tomorrow morning to take us to the airport. For dinner we eat at Las Tullpas where the steaks are excellent.