Scene setter: While at the Ford Foundation, MacKenzie produced this video about grantee Tarcila Rivera. At age ten, she moved from her Andean town to Lima to work as a domestic servant, speaking only Quechua until she was 18. Today she is a leader in the indigenous rights movement and an all-around social justice badass.
Pound-the-table recommendation: How do we express how much better than great the ceviche at Canta Rana in the Barranco District is? We were both doing the “how does this taste so good?” head shake as we worked through the fish, fried squid, avocado, corn, and sweet potato. We fought over the last drop of leche de tigre; Blake almost lost an eye. With sincere apologies to khao soi and chorizo sandwiches, it feels fair to call this dish—the ceviche apaltado con chicharrón, to be precise—the best casual food that we have eaten on our entire trip. We will, undoubtedly, make our way back to Lima under the guise of something “cultural” and eat ceviche twice daily for a week.
Back-pocket fact: In true asshole colonizer fashion, the Spanish played some really twisted mind games with the Incas. This painting, by an 18th century painter of the Cusco School, depicts the royal Inca family tree.
The Spaniards sought to establish their legitimacy by drawing a direct line of succession from Atahualpa to King Carlos V. We’re a little fuzzy on how this makes sense, but you end up with Carlos IV (who came after Carlos V due to dynasty switch-ups) as the 25th Inca emperor of Peru, so you see guys? And these blankets are totally warm and not at all smallpoxy.