Stuff I’ve been reading in Cusco

When I arrived in Cusco I had spent about three weeks in Arica, Chile. Though I had done a volunteer work-exchange at a hostel there, I realized how exploitative the experience was when things didn’t work out in Perú and I wound up doing a work-exchange here.

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Redefining travel for people who aren’t rich (most of us)

In my experience, most backpackers tend to be white. There’s no actual data on this but I’m sitting in a hostel in Perú and there are definitely more white people here than people of color, and I don’t think I’ve seen a black person this morning. There are several people from parts of Asia, such as Singapore, and many of the other people I’ve seen of Asian descent are actually first-generation immigrants from the US, Canada, or elsewhere. This has been the case in Argentina and Chile when I stay at hostels. Bite me.

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Why every backpacker should do a work-exchange at a hostel

I spent way too much money in San Pedro de Atacama, in part because the town itself is very expensive and I wasn’t as ready as I thought. My bad. So I went to Arica, Chile, a town known as a city with eternal spring. It’s also a desert town but has a beach right next to it. It’s also known to have an Afro-Chilean population and there are many descendants of Chinese immigrants from the 1890s. This explains the many Chinese restaurants that offer chifa that aren’t Peruvian.

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Sometimes I feel like a fake salvadoreña

I grew up in Los Angeles after my mother took me there from El Salvador on July 9, 1989. At that time there weren’t as many Salvadorans as there are now, and one of the first places I lived in was Compton. From what my mother told me, her plan was for us to be there for two years so she could learn English and how to use computers. We were extremely fortunate to have obtained tourist visas, meaning we skipped crossing Guatemala and Mexico to get to the US.

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