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Crossing the river before summiting 17,500 Pico Austria. Photo by Ella Williams (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest, 2nd Place), South America Semester.

Our Peruvian Halloween

Hola family and friends!

I hope everyone had a spectacularly spooky, sweet Halloween and a nice transition into November. This Halloween was my first Halloween in a different country but it didn’t feel too different from home. In the days leading up to Halloween I began to see more and more decorations in shops and I started seeing costumes for kids being sold too. During Halloween day Urubamba seemed the same as ever but shortly before nightfall the festivities began. As I walked through the streets dressed as a witch, head to toe in black, with a long flowing skirt, an ankle length overcoat, very dark makeup (including satanic symbols on my face and hands), and of course, a witch hat, children stared at me both in horror and in awe. I passed by the faces of many superheroes, Disney characters, fairies, familiar looking masks, cartoon characters, and more. For trick-or-treating my eight year old host brother, Amaru, was Goku from Dragon Ball Z, a popular cartoon. Instead of door to door trick-or-treating at houses like I’m used to, the children here go door to door of all of the food stores, other shops, and pharmacies for dulces and chocolates. Our group had our own Halloween party with an abundance of home-made guacamole and chips, Doritos, Candy Corn, cookies, chocolates, and other sweets. Everyone came in costumes ranging from a tourist to a killer clown to a cow. We ate food and hung out all together laughing and talking on the roof of the hostal the instructors have been staying at for about 40 minutes before settling down to listen to Raquel’s life story. She shared with us original poetry and wisdom. I had a wonderful Halloween here in Peru.

-Ella Silverstein