History of Poverty Lies Behind the Gold-Paved Streets of Peru

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 12, 2006 | Go to article overview

History of Poverty Lies Behind the Gold-Paved Streets of Peru


Byline: Kimberly Priebe

Today I arrived in the center of the Incan Empire, Cuzco, Peru. I am excited to be in this city. It is beautiful, surrounded by mountains and has huge cathedrals and parks in every direction. A lot of the building and street names are in Quechua, the Incan language native to Peru. The streets are cobblestone and a lot of them are very narrow, which makes me feel like a hobbit. What's more, it is amazingly diverse. Tourists from every corner of the earth are milling around, but not dominating the mix of Peruvians of Indigenous, European and African decent. The food is excellent, and there is a nightlife - I really couldn't ask for more out of a place.

After finding somewhere to stay, I visited the Plaza del Santo Domingo and the Temple of Sun in the city center. The Incans created a very ornate temple to the Sun, and when the Spanish arrived they converted it into a Catholic monastery. In 1950 there was a huge earthquake in Peru, and people and buildings were destroyed. However, the buildings built by the Incas held up far better than those of the Spanish colonizers. The Incas put some sort of rolling blocks underneath their buildings so that the foundation would move but the buildings themselves wouldn't when earthquakes occurred. The Spanish did not. For this reason, the Plaza del Santo Domingo is a reconstruction of the original and the Temple of the Sun is not.

I arrived at the museum at 4:30, and the sun was just starting to set, sliding in sideways through the huge arched windows. I felt I was a part of something timeless as I wandered around the buildings, admiring the sharp contrast between Incan and Spanish Colonial architecture and art. It is amazing and comforting to feel like just a tiny insignificant dot on the map of history.

During the height of the Incan Empire, the streets in Cuzco were lined in gold, with temples and palaces and unimaginable riches in every direction. I can imagine it. The way that the sun hits the mountains and buildings in this city makes the whole valley look like it is sparkling when I am standing in the city center. It's almost like a shadow of the grandeur that once was remains hanging over the city.

One of the things that struck me most about the Plaza del Santo Domingo was that almost all of the Peruvian art in the museum was about pain, loss, power, suffering, violence and domination. It isn't all sparkles and temples and gold-lined streets for people in Cuzco these days. As my taxi drove me into town from the airport this morning, the poverty outside of the city center was palpable and harsh and it made me want to cry. In reality, I guess I could ask for more out of this place. I could ask for people to not be living in tiny tin roof huts without clean water or sufficient food. Wouldn't that be a novelty?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

History of Poverty Lies Behind the Gold-Paved Streets of Peru
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.