photo of person from Peru Cerro de Pasco
Peru glossary


(PERU 15)








Tinyahuarco, Near Cerro de Pasco





Today we are with a young man from a community near Cerro de Pasco who is currently a student at the Daniel Alcides Carrion University of Cerro de Pasco and a graduate of the Faculty of Education.

Section 1
Could you tell us your name and how old you are?
My name is Juan Navarro Benito and I'm 23.

Which community do you come from?
From Tinyahuarco, also known as 'Smelter' community.

'Smelter' is an English word, isn't it?
That's right, 'smelter' is an English word, it comes from English. What happened was that the Cerro de Pasco Corporation had its old smelter here, you know, the North American company which extracted minerals from around here, from this area before the nationalisation in the 70s...., and as the smelter was here in this area, little by little it became known as Smelter until it was left with this name.

Does it mean the same thing?
That's right, it would be smelter, here they say smelter, because the first smelter of the Cerro de Pasco Corporation operated here.

And the name remains?
That's right, the people came to know it like that and the name stuck.

And it replaced the original name, the Quechua name?
Not really, now they use both names. It is, you could say, the influence of the presence of the gringos (westerners, foreigners, in this context North Americans who ran/owned the mines).

It's a very interesting case, how an imported name, from another language, ends up replacing the original Quechua name.
Yes, that's what happened. You can say that it was the influence of the gringos, from the time when they first appeared on this land. This smelter was the oldest, the first the gringos built. Then they moved to La Oroya, but during the time that they were here, you could say that they left a mark on the lives of the community, on the area.

And what can you tell me about your family, about your parents, they've always lived here, haven't they?
Well no, they haven't always lived here. My parents are originally from the Andes mountain range, but from other parts, but always from the Andes. They come from a herding background, they have been campesinos.....Well, my parents met in another village, there with the first waves of people who migrated from the Andes to the cities. This is how my parents first came here. The first place that my father came to, for example, is Fumacha. Fumacha is a mine. He got to know my mother a little there because she was a sheepherder in the area and she lived very close to the Fumacha's mine. So they met in the estancia.
Section 2
In the estancia? And what exactly is an estancia, what's known as an estancia in your area?
It's a place for the herders. They come together there. An estancia is made up of a hut and a series of pens that are used to keep the animals in so they can sleep at night. That is an estancia. It's very common to find estancias in ranching areas.... So my mother gradually got to know my father in all this carry on between the herders and the people who worked in the mines. Because the Fumacha mine was managed by foreigners, they had their own supermarkets, so my mother would take advantage of this and she would buy food there. So, since my father worked there, he did his job around there, they met. They got to know each other until they fell in love and got married.

Had anyone in your family had experience in the mines before or did your father begin the family's relationship with mining?
Yes, actually my grandfather worked in the first tunnels that were dug in those days to look for seams, for minerals, at what is known as Huaron, the Huaron mine. He told my father that there wasn't enough technology like there is today; that the way one worked before is not comparable. My grandfather died with his lungs eaten away by silicosis. He is buried in Yanahuanca. He was a miner but he was also a campesino. I'm referring to my paternal grandfather, the father of my father. He was a miner but like the majority of the miners in the area before, they were campesinos. You know that when large scale mine exploitation began in the area, the labour force was not large enough and the only possible supply of labour was the campesinos. That's why nearly all the miners have a campesino background. That's what it was like. The companies would recruit from the communities, that's what happened.

Very interesting. Were there miners on your mother's side too?
They were eminently campesinos. My great-grandfather was a type of gamonal (landowner). That's to say my grandfather's father. I'm saying he was a type of gamonal because he had large properties. That's what people would call those who owned a lot of property in those days.

In which area?
In the Andachaca area, on this side of Tacoyan over there. So he had a huge quantity of livestock on his farms, he had his houses in what is now known as Tococulca in Cerro de Pasco.
Section 3
Is that right?
He had big houses and when the open pit was built for mining extraction in Cerro de Pasco, they even gave him a house in Lima in exchange for his house which was going to be eaten up by the mines.

It's true that the mines, the exploitation of mines, in Cerro de Pasco was "eating up the city," isn't it?
Of course, almost half of the city disappeared, mainly the old part. They began to look for minerals in the middle of the city and this affected the people who lived there. Of course the company bought the houses but for a low price in comparison to what came out of the ground - all the wealth of the minerals! This is what happened to my grandfather, they exchanged his house in Cerro for a house in Lima, and so the children that were born later now live there, in Lima. So, as I was telling you, my grandmother, shortly after marrying my grandfather, stayed living there. Those are my mother's parents. What's more, I forgot to tell you that for a while my grandfather was a caporal (herder in charge of large number of sheep and other herders) for the Fernandinis, and also for the gringos. By that time though, my great-grandfather had left the area, so my grandfather, his son, began working for the Fernandinis, he was their caporal.

And what exactly was the caporal in those days?
They were a type of sheep herder but of a huge quantity of sheep. They were responsible for a huge quantity of sheep that belonged to others. Under their responsibility, as caporales they were in charge of other herders who used to work for them.

And was the Fernandini's company big?
I think that the Fernandini company had about 300 workers, including caporales, herders and everyone else. My grandfather was a caporal who had workers at his disposal, under his leadership, and he would manage a certain amount of livestock, say more or less 7000 or 8000 heads. Since he worked for them he also had the right to have his own livestock. That is, he had his own animals you see, my grandfather was also a guatchillero (men who look after their own livestock individually).

What's that?
Guatchillero is derived from the Quechua word guatcha which means orphan, you see.

Guatcha, orphan, and what does it mean in terms of work? Who do you call guatchilleros?
Guatcha, this used to mean or they used this word, they used the name guatchillero for those who had their livestock separately. Though it might be just a few, those who had 30, 40 or 50 sheep were guatchilleros.

And has the word guatchillero become Spanishised?
No, not really, no. It's slang they use to identify a certain type of herder, which is really a small herder - those who have just a few animals and are practically landless. Currently there are a lot of guatchilleros, before there were less because the majority would work for the big landowners like Fernandini. This happened before when there were big landowners like the Fernandinis.
Section 4
Do you have information about the Fernandinis? What did they stand for in this area?
Well they were the big landholders. As you know, there where big landowners before. They [the Fernandinis] had great quantities of haciendas (estate farms) which constituted the Fernandini complex, the livestock complex. The Fernandinis went on changing their trade name, first it was Fernandini, then Fernandinis, Blondes and Brothers, or something like that, then it was ALGOLAN, which stood for the abbreviation of algodon (cotton) and lana (wool), ALGOLAN. ALGOLAN was just one hacienda, but a huge one. It covered this whole area all the way up to Huanuco. Today, when one goes to Huanuco, one can find a little village called Quinua where there is a college, the school operates in what use to be the house of the ALGOLAN hacienda.

And was this family linked to mining?
It was, but not much. The El Brocal mine and a few others [belonged to them] but they weren't big like the Cerro. To begin with, the Fernandinis were purely a livestock company - they were involved only in that, not just in wool exports, but also in meat. Here we are close to Shelvi and closer, nearer here, just here, is Unich. Those places use to be meat loading stations. In Unich the remains of a livestock loading station exist. Since the [railroad] tracks were already laid out, a railway to La Oroya was already installed, a route that went to the Oroya. Thousands of livestock were loaded there each year and sent off to the national and also international markets. In this loading point they also..., this place they also loaded up wool, wool which was sheared in an area called Ayaracra. Currently there's still a galpon (shed) which has a capacity to hold 8000 and was set up by the gringos. About in February and March a huge amount of wool was sheared from the livestock there. It continues to operate now but now it's aided by a tractor motor. The original motor they brought here is obsolete - a museum piece you could say - but they continue to use it, the plant, to shear the wool from the livestock.

To shear?
To shear the livestock.

And did they manage to industrialise this production or did it just remain as wool and animals, did the Fernandinis manage to industrialise?
In relation to the production of wool, there's no evidence that they managed to set up or had the intention of setting up a factory in this area. I believe that, in the long term, that produced the region's stagnation. Neither mining nor ranching, which have produced a lot, have managed to be the pillars to sustain a certain development in this part of the country, in Cerro de Pasco and the entire region. Mining, as much as the ranching, have only served to create export centres, simply for extraction. Cerro de Pasco and all it's peripheral zones have been orphans of all this, of any true development. Great quantities of wool were taken from there, for example, but that wool went straight to the city of Lima, didn't it? Not only did it go to Lima, it also went to other parts of the world where only then the wool was turned into threads, fabric, etc, but it was never done here. Currently the old grandmothers that still live around here continue to use their puchigas (looms) to weave.
Section 5
What are puchigas?
The puchigas are those, those sticks where the wool is woven. Wool has never been transformed here, never has it been transformed. It's the same with dairy products, for example. Cheese and butter, let's say, have never been mass produced to be exported, although everyone knows that dairy products from this area are of high quality. So, all this hasn't contributed to the development of this part of the country. It's been the same with mining: the gringos left, they took everything and backwardness and poverty continues. All this despite the fact that there was an agrarian reform which put an end, in principle, to the Fernandinis and all the big landowners and empresas asociativas (communal companies) were set up [instead]. There they are, there's the Pachacutec communal company which in a certain way has managed to industrialise, but, in reality, on a small scale. It's tiny in comparison to what could have been achieved because in those days there was a huge livestock population.

Do you think that the agrarian reform in the 60s changed things much in the region?
Well the first thing about the agrarian reform was that the attempt was good but it was lacking in follow-up. Here, in this part of the region, you can still find some cooperatives. Many have been divided up or the people have become small land holders; their cattle has been divided, they have gone back to the previous type of cattle exploitation, a very old way, I would say, like the time of the gamonales.
Although it's true that the gringos brought the technology, it isn't used much. For example, mongrel cattle, of poor quality that is, has been introduced to produce more, but quality has declined. Whereas before good quality livestock would weigh 80 or 90 kilos once it was slaughtered, today it doesn't weigh over 20 kilos. In this sense things have gone backwards.
I think that the campesinos haven't been able to take advantage of things, they have been led by selfishness, by individualism and because of this some of them have succeeded and others have failed. Some received a great quantity of livestock but they didn't know how to manage it. Now they don't even have a single one left and to survive they have had to become herders. Their job is to care for and graze the livestock that belongs to others. At the same time, things have been better for others. So in this sense I believe the agrarian reform was very good at the beginning. The attempt was good, but later it failed. Now I believe that we need to work with a new campesino mentality, for a new campesino mentality. Technology must be introduced to the countryside, we must try to introduce the appropriate techniques so we can produce more. But I believe that an important theme in all of this is organisation. A campesino on his own is not going to be able to do anything, he has to be organised, the communities must be strengthened to be able to move forward, to be able to secure loans if he wants to set up industries in the future, for example. Currently, for example, the campesino doesn't think about transforming the products. Here the campesino always takes his wool, he takes it from here to Cerro de Pasco or to Carhuamayo and that wool then goes to the mills in Lima. Not only does the wool from the sheep go, but also from the alpacas. The price they sell it for here is the “price of an egg”(very low). It goes very cheaply, so the middlemen are the ones who benefit. The same thing happens with the minerals. Here in Cerro de Pasco, they don't even make nails. So what happens? There are no jobs because they don't develop industries here to create jobs. What would happen if we created an industry, let's say metal mechanics or some foundries where we could begin making the smallest things like calamine, tools or nails, for example. Not a complicated production using great technology, but something to start off. In this way we would have a mine there, a spinning mill, a leather tannery a place where you could produce cheese, butter, and, in this way diversify, unlike now. I believe that this would generate employment. There is a large generation of young people who complete their secondary education and don't know what to do, so they go to the capital, to Lima, of course.
Section 6
But before you continue with this subject Juan, you have come round to something very interesting about the role of the campesino and how the agrarian reform was modified, were the changes not from the roots, what happened?
It's got a lot to do with the cultural aspect, educational. There was no plan as to what they wanted to do here. I think that's what happened. The problem is we continue to be a forgotten area. Yes, this area is very much uncared for by the State. For example, in the Pucara area, whose land used to belong to the Condorquisqui cooperative, the teachers that prepare classes for the children only teach three or four months a year and the rest of the time - most of the time - they ask for leave. So what happens? Today the campesino sees his children are not being educated as well as they should be, so they feel they're wasting their time. The other thing is that if the campesinos aren't supported then the abandonment of the countryside is perpetuated. These days a campesino will say, for example, "I'm a campesino but my son isn't." That's to say that the campesino doesn't want his son to be a campesino like himself. And he's right because there's no support for campesinos, the countryside is abandoned. It's been left aside by the government, there's no education, there's nothing, so why should the campesinos want their children to carry on in the countryside? They even go with their families to look for new opportunities in the cities. The countryside's depopulated now, not just here in Cerro de Pasco but all over, you'll see. There are communities for example, that support their young students to go and study in the university so they can later return to transfer their knowledge to the community and then what happens is that they go and they don't return.

Why do you think this happens?
I think the professional training is inadequate.
Section 7
A product of the university?
A product of the university and a product of the state of abandonment - there aren't any incentives for the campesinos, for their communities. And it's a product of training as well because the university, shall we say, doesn't train good professionals. The Daniel Alcides Carrion University, which is the one I know because I studied there, relies on what I would call terrible professors. I am telling you this because I'm also a graduate of the University. What happens? Here, at the University you can see a concrete case - the failures of all the other faculties invade, they seek refuge in the Faculty of Education and in others and they turn out to be bad professionals. The young people go to university with high expectations; they think they're going to become professionals and their parents have high expectations of them too, but in the end they come out and they end up working in whatever they can, despite the fact that they've studied. This is what happens and there's a lot of frustration.

The topic of education is important. Tell me, as someone who's at university and who practically is or is going to be a teacher, what expectations do you have in relation to your family with the education your parents have given you?
Well, this...., speaking of the education that my parents have given me, I think my parents have been a tremendous school for me, not just in terms of campesino life, but in relation to the revaluation of our Andean culture. Since I was little, for example, my mother always spoke to me in Quechua and, although I can't actually speak Quechua, I can understand it, you see. Yes, I can understand what they're saying to me in Quechua.

Quechua is getting lost in this area, why do you think this is happening, why do you think Quechua's being lost, that it isn’t spoken anymore?
Because it isn't encouraged. Quechua is spoken nowhere because in practice it isn't permitted. It's not that it's prohibited, but it's the same. Do they teach you how to speak Quechua at school like they teach you how to speak Spanish? What is the official language? It's Spanish, isn't it? If you go to a public office, does anyone speak Quechua? This is why people stop speaking their language and it's lost, there's no way to practice it.

Is that what happens? Is that why in your case you have never practised the pronouncing Quechua?
Well some phrases, some words I have, but to dedicate myself to it at some time to speak perfectly...

To listen and speak?
No, I've never tried, a little with my parents. They are the only one's I have been able to speak with. That's why it's almost lost. It's because of this I feel my parents have been a great school for me. And, in respect to the campesino aspect, to the rearing of livestock, they continue to be, they continue to have the knowledge. As I told you before, my parents left the countryside for a while and so for a time I didn't have any direct contact with rearing livestock, only with city life. But then my parents got involved in raising livestock and I was able to see the amount of empirical knowledge they had as a product of practice, which allowed them to solve the problems which arise in ranching. For example, I remember the time when a young lamb had bad eyes and my mother got some lime and salt and put it in its eyes. I said to myself she would really make that little lamb suffer and my mum said to me, "You'll see how it will get better," and a week later the lamb was cured.
Section 8
It got its sight back?
Yes, it got its sight back. Another example is that around here there's an abundance of this plant, I don't remember what it's called, but it's a very sour plant which my mother used to prepare by boiling in an oil.

You mean chicory?
No it's not chicory, chicory's a type of tuber which grows around this time down there in the countryside and is used to refresh the stomach. It's a diuretic.

For the liver?
Yes, for the liver. But the plant I was talking about is bitter and is use to get rid of worms. So, as I said, they use a lot of things, they use their ingenuity. For example, another example, I used to see my mother preparing a remedy for the maggots that enter the lambs' heads. She collected some car grease, put copper sulphate into it and by mixing it and putting it on the sheep she cured the problem of the lice on the sheep's feet; it also cured the mange on the mouth.

How interesting....
And another thing I won't forget is that my father taught me to shear sheep. One day he said come on and help me and we went. During our break he told me about the Australian style and the Italian style and things the gringos had taught him about shearing the sheep's wool.

Your father also worked with the gringos?
Yes, of course, he worked with the gringos and he taught me several things which he learnt throughout his life, his knowledge of the experience.

And is this type of knowledge passed on from parents to children here in this area widespread?
This, yes, I think it is spread. There are a lot of knowledgeable campesinos, but the problem is that their children don't want to stay around here. The majority of them go to Lima - most of their children are in Lima - so in this way they lose all their knowledge. For example, I've got just one sister and now she's married and lives in Carhuamayo, but if I'd had more brothers I'm sure they would've gone to Lima, one of them would've gone to Lima. If you ask, the majority of the families will tell you they have sons in Lima....That, for me, is a problem because the maintenance of our own culture is not encouraged.
Look, for example, from my own personal experience I can say that when I left secondary school, I didn't know what to do, did I? My teachers weren't creative enough to spark a yearning or desire within me. So I left school without even knowing where to go, or what to do, a bit confused....I think this is the reality for a lot of young people who live in this part of the country. Youth I think is the age when one has enough energy to take up something. Very few of us have chosen to study at university, very few. The majority of the youths here have had a failure in secondary school and, the case of girls, they have got pregnant while in secondary school and things along those lines have happened. Some have decided to leave.
The perspective of the youths here, I think continues to be pessimistic. Our youths don't stay in their land. They leave and they lose their roots, their culture, this is what worries me. The young people don't stay to live here, the countryside's depopulated and the cities grow. There's no future here now, in the village, in my community there's no longer any future because of this. If I wanted to set up a small business, there's no one to buy from me because you can count the population on your fingers. So the future's in other places, let's say in Huancayo, Lima and even in Cerro de Pasco itself or you could even go further. So the future's elsewhere. There are many young people who have gone to the jungle, for example, and today they are in jail because they got involved in cocaine smuggling. There are a lot of people who have gone to Lima, the majority of young people go to Lima, but in Lima......
Section 9
What are these young people doing in Lima?
They're not producing anything, are they? Since 1980, when the wave of subversive activity also began in this part of the country, an army detachment arrived and, while on this topic, I must say I'm a former member of the army, and a lot of the young people were in the army and after serving they became security guards, that's their future. When I've travelled to Lima I've seen they need security guards, that's the job that is offered most. And the majority of the security work they offer is for them, for former army personnel. And a lot of people, a lot of young people, a lot of Cerreños (people from Cerro de Pasco) are in Lima. Others have gone to the jungle. Some have gone to other places, they have gone to Puno, Ayacucho, but it's easier to get to the jungle and to Lima.

Tell me, getting back to your community, Smelter, in the Tinyahuarco area, in your community (which is ten minutes from Cerro de Pasco by car), the El Brocal mining company is present and has an extractor plant, what is the influence of this mining company on the area?
It absorbs the labour supply, it contributes to development in some way. Let's say it facilitates education work and improvements on housing, but that's all. Its contribution is small and it’s diminishing. Previously, for example, the company used to provide the comuneros' children with access to the company buses so they could study in Cerro de Pasco, but now this assistance has been cut off, so the young people who want to study in Cerro de Pasco have to find their own way which means an expense for their parents. Now the labour force they use is barely one per cent, no more. What's more, what the company really does is damage the village here. Lately, for example, they've thrown a white substance on the roads which go through here. It looks like lime and when the wagons go by loaded with minerals the dust lifts and it damages the village, goes into the houses, the homes, and, above all, it affects the health of the children, of the families who are in contact with the contamination, it damages the places where the people wash their clothes, where they drink water.

What type of organisation exists here in Tinyahuaro?
Well, this place is now called the Smelter campesino community, that's what it's called. The only organisation that exists, or the main one let's say, is the community. It's at the communal level. There's also a sport club, of course, which originated from shooting club from the time of the gringos. It's called, it's still called The Club de Tiro (Shooting Club), but now it's a sport club.
Section 10
You know, from your testimony, I feel or I'm getting the impression that the presence of a foreign company, such as the Cerro de Pasco Corporation, a company from the US, has definitely influenced your area, your community, the life in these villages; it is as if it's changed life and, in spite of the nationalisation 30 years ago, there are still vestiges of that influence. The name of your community is impressive, also this Shooting Club and other vestiges which are now like the remains of the foreigners' presence, but which continue to be an important reference for you people. Do you agree with me? I'd like to know your opinion.
Yes, of course I agree. The truth is like you say, that the company left 30 years ago. But you mustn't forget it was here for 70 years, from the beginning of the century until 1973 when it was nationalised. From the stories I've heard, the lives of all the people changed during this time. The gringos arrived and carried on as if all this, all this land, belonged to them and they weren't bothered about the fact that campesino communities had existed here since before the time of the Spaniards. They were the new imperialist owners of the area. This is what happened. Well, remembering the time of the gringos, there were even main foreign banks here, for example. There was even talk of a Swiss bank operating here in Cerro de Pasco exclusively for them. Actually they set up the area or they developed the area according to their own interests. They built their beautiful houses like in their own villages, I'm sure, exactly the same in some villages. That is the case of Gollyarisquisa, for example, which was coal mine and is now a ghost town. It has nice buildings from that time period. They say it’s railroad, it’s station, was beautiful, but now it's abandoned. It's a ghost town, as I was telling you...
Logically, they also brought their traditions, their sports. You will have seen that in Cerro de Pasco, at over 400 metres above sea level, there is still a golf course. There's a shooting club here in Tinyahuarco and our grandparents say that there even had shooting competitions there and gringos from other countries would come to compete. There were also rodeos, my father says, and the miners who worked for them even dressed up as cowboys, just like the gringos. This is all true, this is what happened, those are the testimonies of the old people. The gringos left a lot of influences behind. If you see the photographs of that time, the people of Cerro de Pasco dressed like the gringos for the fiestas (festivals, celebrations) - they even had an influence on that.

Do they continue to dress in that way or did it change when the gringos left?
No, it was lost and there was a return to the traditional, to the typical clothing of the area, although sometimes you can find some things from that time, but not so much in the way people dress.

And when you say that it changed the life in this area, are you also referring to the way in which the mining activity influenced the area?
Of course, that happened as well. Before the gringos appeared, it was already known that this area was rich in minerals, but they weren't mined on a large scale. When the gringos arrived things changed and their presence influenced things, the area went from being a cattle rearing area to being a mining area and whole communities were affected.
Section 11
And I imagine that the production of minerals produced, for example, more contamination in your community?
What did affect this land in previous periods was the presence of the first smelter of the Cerro de Pasco Corporation. They set up their first smelter here and the impact on the environment was catastrophic. For example, my grandparents told me there was a lake down there. That place is called Huashugaga. It was called that because some birds called huashara use to live there. Those birds always live in a place where there's a lake. If there isn't a lake then the birds cannot live. What happened was that all the tailings from the smelter were thrown into the lake, so the lake ended up being filled in by tailings. Now this lake no longer exists - I've never known this lake, for example.

Where was the lake?
It was down there, close to Huarancaca. It doesn't exist any more. I never saw it, I don't think my parents have either, but some people say they still see some of the birds - that they arrive periodically in pairs and fly to those rocks; but they no longer lay eggs because there's no lake, so they go on migrating to other places. I was told that this mine, El Brocal, belonged to the Fernandinis. It belongs to the Buenaventura Company now, but although the owners have changed it's still the same. The mining company doesn't contribute anything to this area. What's more, the company has appropriated land. Yes, the company has been throwing out it's rubbish on that land; the rubbish has invaded a piece of the community's land. The company has been doing exploration work recently and it has damaged the road which we use to go to Cualquijirca. It has become all slippery, muddy. The rains have ruined the road. What's more they've also sent an official letter to the community asking us to give them permission to do explorations on community lands. So, in sum, the presence of the Brocal mine, the presence of Centromin Peru in Cerro de Pasco, does not really, from my point of view, make a valid contribution to the area; that has happened throughout history.

But now they're going to privatise Centromin, which used to be the Cerro de Pasco Corporation; do you think this is going to change things, do you think it will improve the situation for the area, for communities like yours? What's your point of view in relation to this big debate?
Well, personally, I’m not against the fact that they want to privatise Centromin, but the way in which they're privatising everything is, I believe, bad for the country and for the region because you have to see what you can achieve for the country, for the villages of the region and .... To sell what we cannot manage here, I agree with this. Look, you see, we know that in Cerro they’ve changed the mine owners - they have been owned by the State and national or foreign companies, like the Cerro de Pasco Corporation, and things have continued to be the same. I believe mining can be a great engine even as a way of re-energising livestock production and agriculture. They should think about this, not like they do now when they think only about mining. What they are doing at the moment is killing the campesino centre; they contaminate the rivers, for example, and contaminate the pastures. I think they must stop this. There should also be mining taxes, which don't exist and have never existed. It's a demand from the villages of the interior. They take everything and they don't leave anything for the villages, for this reason I think privatisation is going to be simply a change of ownership. For the communities of the region things are going to be the same, bad.
Section 12
And how do you see your own future, do you think you'll stay in the region or will you also go like you told us the majority of the young people have gone?
Well, you know I’ve been to university, I've studied to be a teacher. The truth is I want to stay, despite the fact I'm young, yes, I want to stay. When I was a child I was told several times that there were developed countries and that Peru was an underdeveloped country. So, since, then I've always stopped to think and I've always asked the question, "Why is it an underdeveloped country? What happened to our country?" and many times my own friends or the people with whom I was talking to told me, "Peru is inferior, the Peruvians are inferior and we are never going to advance." And I began thinking about whether this was true or not, "The Peruvian must be stupid, inferior, to not have been able to advance?" So personally, in my life, I've tried to look for answers, alternatives to the theme of the under-development of this country. And in the university they taught us that the country and villages of the area are going to develop, that, when they have industries, there will be work for all. But I don't believe that this is enough. I believe we’ll develop when we recognise our Andean culture; its not just to do with economic development but also with personal development, cultural development, and I think that these days, despite the fact that many of the young people don't count on it, there are some who are producing interesting ideas to bring their villages forward.
I believe the life of every young person is like a little grain of sand which could contribute to the improvement of our villages, they could live, not just survive like now, but live like people, with dignity, they could become professors, teachers, to try and rescue our culture and teach it to the children, to the young people, to improve the quality of the teaching in our villages and this is what I'm working for. And I don't think I'm alone, we are not alone and I hope that together we can help to improve the condition of life in our villages.

Are you thinking of teaching what you have learnt to your community?
Yes, of course, that's what I want: to work in the area and contribute to the revaluation of our Andean culture.

Thank you very much for the interview Juan.
Thank you and thanks for the work you're doing around here in this area which also contributes to the revaluation of our culture.