Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Inti Raymi - Inca New Year 6/24/2010

Cuzco celebrated Inti Raymi, the Inca New Year on June 24th.  I was very lucky to have been invited by a group from Pukllasunchis Association (parent NGO of the Colegio where I´ve been teaching) to a special celebration up on top of a mountain near Cuzco.  The celebration involved our building a ¨huatia¨or a dirt oven in which we cooked potatoes.  The Inca version of a picnic!

First we had to find chunks of dirt.  Not an easy task, since the dirt was hard as cement!

Once we had enough clods of dirt, we built a dirt oven.

Next came the fire to heat the clods of dirt.

When the top of the huatia (dirt oven) turned black from the fire, it was time to put the potatoes in the oven.

Once all the potatoes had been placed inside the oven, the oven was collapsed.  The hot chunks of earth fell ontop of the potatoes and over the next 45 minutes, baked them to perfection!
Almost time to feast on a variety of potatoes that had been baked in the huatia.  Slowly, like an archeologist uncovering some percious treasure, we dug through the collapsed oven to find the potatoes.

Time to eat!  The potatoes were delicious!  Okay.... they did have a little dirt on them..... but still they were fantastic with alittle guacamole!

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