Crafts market in the town plaza. One of the vendors shoved a little pamphlet in English in my hands: "For centuries the Wichi indians have lived in the scrub forest following the traditional way of hunters and gatherers. But now this way of life is being threatened by the relentless advance of civilization. The forest is being choppped down and many are thrown off their land, or left with little space in which to pursue their traditional methods of collecting food..."

The problem: Despite the trees in the plaza, Tilcara is in the middle of the desert. The forests and their Indians are hundreds of miles to the East. Perhaps the pamphlets get passed around the indigenous community, "Here, give them this. It works."


Wearing my knitted llama-patterened cap. When we got to the indigenous part of town(see below) the Indians were wearing heavy metal tank tops and swimming trunks.



Shrine to San Cayetano. Pelusa has a picture of him on the dashboard of the car. One day a tire came off a car ahead, rolled down the road, up the hood, through the windshield, over the picture and came to rest in her lap. She had not a scratch. Catholics take note--this guy delivers!


(Gautam: You wouldn't want to have a piano here.)



If you're rich, you live where mudslides are possible.
If not, you live where mudslides are inevitable.


Note what centuries of carriages and cars have done to the driveway.

Argentina is full of street dogs and cats--during the currency crisis, many people had to abandon their pets. The dogs all look like dingos, also like the dogs in India.

(Gautam: Street dogs in India are nowhere near as healthy and well-fed as those in Argentina.)


Cruising the projects.


Pelusa led us into this dive in the projects. Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) sitting below Sun.
Lamb stew--outstanding!


Drunk lady and coca leaf bag guy (left) and singer (right). The lady would wake up occasionally and blow us kisses. "In England they get drunk and fight," Gautam observed. "Here they blow kisses."

Gautam is no Anglophile. He did his undergrad in England. Once out of London people wouldn't rent to him, sit next to him on the bus...and everyone's first questions were "Where are you from....when are you going back?" He says that as soon as he came to the US he felt the love--and that was NJ!


When this guy found out Pelusa is a Porteño (from BA, a port city), he got up and delivered a set of 8 tangos (which is a BA thing). The TV was showing Bolivian music videos.



The guy on the right owns the restaurant.


This college student guide excoriated the many stupidities of the reconstruction of these ruins--this building had a "fat" door and a "skinny" door, there were pyramids (which were Aztec or Mayan). He's a "pacha mamist"--worshipper of the Earth Mother.

(Gautam: Like the rural school teacher, another one who is defending his cultural roots. Gautam had another cry. It started to rain, so no one noticed. It was raining or overcast the whole time we were in Jujuy. We were told that it rains very little and there are some 330 days of sun.

A lot of early 20-th century reconstruction was not well done. The same happened to the pyramids of the Sun and the Moon in Teotihuacan, Mexico.)

(Rin: Why did you correct the spelling to "pyramid"? I kinda liked "pyramind".)


To El Calafate