Across the Andes to Huancayo, Peru

By Erin Hancock

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Huancayo is a city east of Lima in the eastern foothills of the Andes. High elevation, low tourism and lots of real-Peru living to be discovered. We made Peru home base for the better part of a year. Although Huancayo is a little-known city to tourists, 300 000 Peruvians make it their home. The city is fairly spread out and although a lot of activity happens around the main plaza downtown or the Plaza Real (the shopping center), every street has some stores and restaurants and an occasional market.

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It takes about 7 hours by car or bus to cross the mountains from Lima on the coast to arrive in Huancayo. Cruz del Sur provides a great experience. Slow and careful driving, meal included, personal video screens and reclining seats makes a long ride into a doable situation.

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The views throughout the mountain ride are definitely worth the gaze.

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There is a Tuesday market a block from our apartment in the El Tambo area of the city where one can get all of your wares and supplies. There is also an extensive Sunday market stretching across more than a dozen blocks on Huancavelica Street that offers everything from wool products to leather boots and herbs from the mountains.

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Like any place, friends make a place feel like home. We were able to connect with locals and foreign volunteers too. And we found or made our entertainment.

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Karaoke.

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Concerts.

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Discos and dancing.

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Parties.

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Even themed parties….like St. Patrick’s Day (a first for many).

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Music.

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Working out.

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Ask a local and get a cab about a half-hour outside of the city for an afternoon of paintball.

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You may not find yourself breaking bread with your friends (although bread is available….carbs are easily accessible), but Peru is known for good eats. Anticucho is a popular post-disco food (cow heart BBQ’d on skewers). Ceviche (marinated fish) is a popular dish across the country. You may remember cuy, another Peruvian favorite (guinea pig), from my Easter post.

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And take in a meal at a local restaurant for very little money. Like Chanciduende (pork sandwich shop) near the main plaza.

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Huancayo has been a liveable city and a great place to call home for a year. And to spice things up, we were able to explore beyond Huancayo too.

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More details and photos of nearby destinations:

La Merced (the jungle)

Huantapallana glacier

Waterfalls of Huancaya

Tarma in the mountains

 

And further away in Peru, and worth the trip:

Machu Picchu

Colca Canyon

Poor Man’s Galapagos and penguins

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Dr. Chiropractor in Huancayo, Peru

By Jackson Mann

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In November, I became THE full time chiropractor at Centro De Quiropráctico Ray in Huancayo Peru.

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It’s a busy clinic. They were without a chiro for a few days when I arrived. so my first day was crazy. I treated 20 or so patients in 5 hours. Here’s how the model works: the patient comes in (no appointments) and meets me. I do a history and physical evaluation. I send them away with my general ideas and they go for therapy with a therapist we have on site here (if appropriate). We use TENS, ice, heat and traction. They return the next day for their report after I’ve had time to review and put together my diagnosis and recommendations. I get stories of how the surgeon is going to operate on them if the pain comes back.  We rely on our staff for therapy and rehab so I focus on assessments and adjustments.

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My first week on the job, I was happy my patient brought his wife and ….pet.

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Chiro is new in Peru so I’ve been on a few television shows. I’ve been told I have that “something” that TV loves. It’s great fun and I’ll be back on in a few weeks.

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This is a pic just before Christmas/Navidad with our friend Julia visiting from Canada on the left, Ruth my office manager in front of her and Erin, my wife on the right.

 

A little bit about living in Huancayo

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My apartment is provided by my boss. It is inexpensive to live here. AND I live down the street from the clinic. Only in South America would you show off a bathroom. But yeah, it’s nice to have the conveniences of a home.

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View from my apartment

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Finding a dentist was pretty easy. It was his idea to take a photo together (maybe for his promotional materials). We may have been the first foreigners to visit him.

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The gym does the trick!

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Insert some metaphor about reaching for the top….or climbing to success

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The ready-made entertainment is a little thin here, but we’re starting to make friends (and of course we’re taking visitors from Canada!… with an extra bedroom all ready for guests).

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The food is cheap and awesome. Ceviche everyday…yes please ($4 Canadian).

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And this town of Huancayo is responsible for one of Peru’s favourite sauces – Huancaina sauce. So there is one claim to fame!