Hola, Karikuy readers! It´s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Kayla and I am a copywriter whose been working and living in Lima since July. Though I´m not part of the internship program at Karikuy, Julio graciously agreed to let me contribute to the blog. I first traveled to Peru in the summer of 2008, when I studied abroad in Cusco through La Pontificia Universidad Cátolica´s Spanish and Incan Archaeology program (administered through AIFS). For me, that summer was an unforgettable introduction to Peru: I not only visited the commanding stone structures of Machu Picchu, but also several Incan ruins in the outlying area, including Pisac, Maras, Moray, Tipón, and Sacsayhuaymán. While the program was short (only 5 weeks), I always recommend it to college students interested in Incan history and culture because it focuses on hands-on experiences rather than classroom lectures. Plus, it gave me some much needed practice with the Spanish language, which at the time I could write and read well but couldn´t speak with confidence.
Apart from brief flings with Canada and the Bahamas, Peru was the first country I visited outside of the United States, and in this way, it became my first travel love. Though I visited other Spanish speaking countries (Argentina, Spain) in the years following my study abroad experience, I always felt tied in Peru and nostalgic for that summer in 2008. I knew I needed to come back. Fortunately, during my last semester in graduate school I came across an opportunity to become a copywriter for a website in Lima. For all you native English speakers seeking temporary employment here in Peru, I suggest Jobs Abroad and the Expat Peru forum, which have been huge aides to my friends and me in our respective job searches. My current contract includes five working months and three weeks of paid vacation, which so far I have used to visit the cities of Arequipa and Huaraz. My final trip is yet to be determined, but if all goes well, it looks like I´m headed to Iquitos for a jungle tour.
While I, like many Peru-bound travelers, was at first unenthusiastic about spending my days in gray, gritty Lima, I have been pleasantly surprised to discover the city´s charming attributes—delicious food, hospitable people, and must-see sights like the San Francisco Monastery and the Magic Water Circuit. Of all Lima´s 43 districts, my favorite place to spend time is Barranco, known as ¨the bohemian district¨ for its vibrant arts and nightlife culture. Despite what the guidebooks may tell you, there´s a lot to say about Lima. I can´t wait to start sharing my experiences here with you in upcoming blogs!