Spring arrives

In spite of all the problems outside our refuge, spring still comes in October in our part of the southern hemisphere.

Here the children are enjoying gathering some of our new crops of bananas, yucca, sweet potatoes and more:

and also having a celebratory pachamanca to welcome the first day of spring (el Día de la Primavera).

Pachamanca derives from the Quechua words pacha = “earth” and manka = “pot”), and is a traditional Peruvian way of cooking with the aid of hot stones. Preparation begins with the heating of stones over a fire, usually buried in a hole in the ground. The fire is covered with grass and earth, and the resulting oven is opened up after around two hours.

This method of cooking originated in the central Peruvian Andes. It is an important part of traditional Peruvian cooking, has existed since the times of the Inca Empire, and is now widespread throughout modern Peru. 

The earthen oven can generally cook meat such as lamb, alpaca, pork, chicken or guinea pig, marinated in spices, along with other Andean produce, such as potato, sweet potato or yucca. Meat is wrapped in leaves before being put in this kind of earthen stove.