The Ocwan Gateway to World Heritage Sites: Callao
The Blessing of the Land and the Wisdom of Civilizations
Macchu Picchu is known as the City in the Clouds due to its altitude of 2,400 meters above sea level. Some people think this once-prosperous city of the Inca Empire was built to esecape from the Spanish invasion. Even now, there are few conclusive facts, and the city remains surrounded in mystery. Moreover, the Inca construction techniques and their mysteries have gathered attention from all around the world, in particular for being able to build stone walls, in an era without steelworks, with such precision that not even a razor blade can fit between the stones. This land was full of many cultures since even before the Inca, and cultures have thrived and declined as if in a cycle. This history is why Peru boasts a great number of World Heritage Sites.
Lima’s Historic District
The Old Town of Lima was built in 1533, after Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incan Empire. This district continues to pass the history of Peru on to younger generations, and has been registered as a World Heritage Site. The city was modeled after Madrid, a city in Francisco Pizarro’s homeland. It is based on a grid pattern and many important buildings were built here, such as the Santo Domingo Church, the Lima Cathedral, and the San Francisco Monastery with its beautiful Sevillian tiles. Walking around this area will make you feel as if you traveled back in time.
Villa El Salvador
Villa El Salvador is a so-called slum in the desert, established by many people who fled from Peru’s Civil War. While it started as an illegal settlement, it developed with great urban planning, including a focus on including diverse opinions of the population. It has been recognized now to to be called “a miraculous city.” In the past, Villa El Salvador was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and has been in the spotlight of the international community. Peace Boat organizes exchange programmes with the local NGO “Arena y Esteras” (Sand and Mats), an organization that has contributed greatly to Villa El Salvador’s development. Through this programme, passengers can think about poverty and the merits of a participatory society.
PHOTO: PEACEBOAT, Nancy Roberts, shutterstock.com