‘Peru is definitely within my 3 favourite countries, and perhaps the favourite one’ told me Arie Van Der Hamsvoort looking at the amazing landscapes while in the car in Peru during last May filming his next episode for the series ‘The most dangerous roads of the world’ for Warner Bros Netherlands.
And with this I don’t mean to be arrogant about Peru but I feel grateful that each time there are more channels and directors interested in stories that show the cosmovisions and cultures of Latin Americans instead of its problems.
And what happened is that after living in Europe in 2017 I was kind of disappointed because what most people knew about Peru and Latin Americans were related to its problems. Nothing about its cultures or people or the understanding of them. And for sure from a European lifestyle you must see a lot of poverty here that sure we have, but what you don’t see is that people also give importance to the emotional side of their lives, to their freedom and socialize it is a main thing for us, something that it was really hard to do in Europe from my own experience.
So maybe it is time to see each other with different eyes and with a bit of a more open mind to see what we can learn from each other instead. I don’t mean to say that one continent is better than the other because all have their own problems but I think sharing stories from deeper angles can somehow help us to understand each other and be a stronger world together. This was the motivation I had when I came back to Peru and I feel grateful that being a filmmaker and producer has given me the opportunity to show stories and people that TV channels and directors would never imagine to find here.
As for example with Arie and his team we went over an amazing natural reserve to film families and places around it. As his fixer and researcher we learnt together about alpacas, guinea pigs, ancestral rituals and a diverse variety of landscapes with mountains, lakes, cactus and deserts, all in 4 days. It was a magical journey and with a lot of fun on the way.
On my recent trip to Cusco I went to film the construction of the Qeswachaka bridge for the French-German channel ARTE. Qeswachaka is an ancestral Inca bridge that is made of vegetable fibres by hundreds of people every year in the Andes of Peru. Having been in the middle of this communal challenge, I was a witness to all of the emotion these people put in such an incredible hard work but at the same time a communal joy and pride at the end.
Previous to that, I was filming for ZDF German TV channel, pre columbian pyramids from the cultures of the north of Peru that are comparable with the pyramids of Egypt and its mommies on different levels but nobody talks about it. Like having tombs of 15m, 20m depth, or having the largest pyramid in south america or having the last civilization that built pyramids in the world! Not everything is about incas, there is much more from the previous cultures as well.
A few weeks ago I was filming for an American channel, the producers of the finest and organic quinoa of Peru, in Puno, yes, the quinoa that we export, the one that you probably eat in Europe or USA. Did you know that Peru has over 1500 types of quinoa?? Yes! Apart from the fact that we have more than 3500 types of potatoes, Quinoa is our second most important food and again no many people know about it!
But stories from Peru don’t necessarily are just Peruvians, a few weeks ago I was filming for an American online platform about a guy who lives between 2 cultures because his ancestors were Chinese and his lifestyle is a bit different than any other Peruvian here in Lima.
Last year I also filmed for the Austrian TV channel ORF, a German-Peruvian woman who survived a plane crash 50 years ago in the jungle of Peru but still keeps taking planes and comes every year to work on her biological station. Someone really inspiring!
Other times I also went to the jungle of Peru in Pucallpa or Iquitos to be part of films regarding the Ayahuasca ceremony and medicinal plants rituals for European directors.
So as you see, Latin America might not have developed countries and for sure we carry a lot of problems because of the lack of attention of our governments but even so, we have so much more interesting things to share and not many people know about them.
There is no need to say that I am passionate about my country (Peru) and in general Latin America. I can never get tired of digging into my culture, my history and the different cosmovisions that we have here so I can not cheer you up more to connect with me if you work on the filming industry and want to work on ideas for potential future projects but if not, I still invite you to travel to this beautiful continent and to learn more about us.
Have an amazing week my friends! And remember that work and fun go together! 🙂
Made and written by Lizeth Yarleque