Stranded In Caraz…

We’re stranded in Caraz!!!

We tried to leave the mountains yesterday but all the roads in and out were blocked. The villagers are protesting the mining companies (mostly foreign owned) for contaminating their water/soil, and destroying their livelihood for generations to come. The companies deny they pollute, which is despicable. SHAME! You greedy bastards!

We had hoped the protests would stay peacefull, but these companies play dirty and often times have the cops in their pocket. Things are getting a little gnarly.

Two people were killed and 50 were injured this week in protests against a copper mine run by the Swiss based company, Xstrata.

Peruvian police have arrested the mayor of a highland village accused of promoting anti-mining protests. It was the second arrest of a protest leader, which prompted the government to declare a 30-day state of emergency, suspending civil liberties in Espinar province. (I really hope we can get out of here sooner than that. We’ve been told a couple/few days…we’ll see).

We’re proud of the Peruvian campesinos for standing up against transnational corporations to defend the health of their land. Go Peruanos!!! Te apoyamos! (We support you).

To learn more about this issue in Peru, read this post that we wrote back in December about the protests in Cajamarca – Click Here 

Since it looks like we may be here for a few days, we’re settling in. We’re posted up in a hotel in Caraz and feel safe. Luckily we have access to great beer from Sierra Andina, a local mico-brew company.

Besides, there are worse places to be stranded. I’m sure we’ll find something to keep us busy, like exploring more of the countryside.

More photos of local life here in the Andes…

This little slice of heaven is hard enough to leave. Like we needed a road block to convince us to stay longer.




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  1. mamatuyas says:

    I love the juxtaposition of modern (leggings) and traditional clothing in these photos of the ladies. And the Andes – que magnificas!
    I hope the demonstrations bring good results, but usually the “Greedy Bastards” STAY greedy bastards, and it will either take prolonged unconscionable suffering and/or years of protests to make change. Same here in the States
    Stay safe, Nomads.

    • Christian Argueta says:

      Stay safe guys. Have a contingency plan “just in case.” Can’t ever be too safe. But… it does seem heavenly there… leave it to PEOPLE to screw things up, eh?


    • based on what we’re seeing up here, it’s looking like prolonged unconscionable suffering.


  2. Kathy Card says:

    Good thing I’m not your mother, I’d be having a heart attack…it’s bad enough just being a Facebook friend! Please be careful !!

  3. Alexander Roberts says:

    Looks like someone got to their politicians.

  4. Alexis Schafer says:

    Ah Jeez. Hopefully you guys can sneak on through so you can get to your dr. appointment!

    You guys should do the old “HEY WHAT’S THAT OVER THERE????” And then Tree should punch the gas in the Sprinter. Pretty sure it would work. 🙂

    • We went to the front lines yesterday and tried to place the pregnancy card. Told them Stevie wasn’t feeling well and that we needed to get to a doctor. They didn’t bite. Not even a little. Oh well, we’re fine here in Caraz.

  5. Sara Gepp says:

    Caraz is a pretty radical baby name!

  6. Lorraine Chittock says:

    Mine owned by Swiss-based Xstrata… someone needs to start something with them. Swiss are supposed to be squeaky clean…

  7. Teri Hogan says:

    Right on!

  8. Jim Rhonda Delameter says:

    had just been reading about that protest on the news. Be safe

  9. Shaun Galanos says:

    You could totally squeeze through there on a motorcycle!

  10. Cindy Chischilly says:

    good for them!

  11. ClimbingLife says:

    The mining companies have had free reign down there for too long, polluting how they want and devastating the landscapes where they work. Local workers are treated as second class citizens and safety is not a priority, just profits as usual.

    my friends who floated the Amazon from Ecuador to the Atlantic witnessed the worse atrocities while in Peru where the military was shooting to kill many protesters in the Amazon who were peacefully demonstrating against the oil companies who have devastated much of the Basin. Hopefully things stay peaceful in Caraz.

  12. Thanks for getting the word out. I don’t see anything in the “press” about this issue and The Sprinter Blog can have a significant influence by bringing attention to the remote area.
    I would hope that huge multinational companies would help the poor countries they operate, but if you google these guys it shows: ($385 million) payout to 73 managers and executives of the mining company after its takeover by Glencore International Plc is “insensitive” and “unacceptable.”
    A $385 million payout to the people of rural Peru would be life changing.
    Keep up the good work –

    • Hey Rick! I love your comments! I, too, wish that these big bullies would consider ‘paying out’ the people whose land that they’re contaminating as opposed to corporate execs and undoubtedly some government officials. That would at least make it seem somewhat more fair. But, then again, without clean water and soil, the villagers can’t sustain their way of life. They live close to the earth, and no amount of money can help them if their livestock can’t drink water from a toxic lake or, even worse, their children wind up with birth defects. It makes me sad that the modern idea of ‘progress’ is constantly putting indigenous, i.e. sustainable, way of life in jeopardy. I’m super inspired by the campesinos though. They aren’t fooled by our profit-values. They know that no amount of gold is worth more than clean water. And, even more admirably, they are willing to fight to protect their land! I wish my own compadres in the U.S. had half the wisdom and gumption these folks do. Anyhow, thanks again for your informative and insightful comment. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you. xo.

  13. Freida Whiddon Cox says:

    We are praying your traveling angels be with you and Tree…wisdom be with you…lol

  14. Judy Shuman says:

    ” Amen! ” ~ ~ ♥

  15. When I was in Arequipa there were massive (and peaceful) demonstrations there also. They were protesting the gold mining industries for the same reasons. If only we could motivate our own apathetic population. . .

  16. Well the road is blocked how can the policia get there?

  17. Candy Benteu says:

    Stay safe please. I am keeping you both in my thoughts.

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