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Saturday, May 15

Refugio Altiplano - Amazon healing the native way

Refugio Altiplano - Amazonian Center for Shamanic Healing and Natural Medicine: this center is located up the Amazon River (south from Iquitos). It focuses on shamanism and the uses of healing plants. Ayahuasca is the most intriguing of the rainforest flora, but there are others. The Refugio provides a number of tourist excursions and activities, ranging from the esoteric to the touristic.

Scott Petersen is the Founder and Director of the Refugio Altiplano since 1996. He has traveled around the world investigating shamanism and herbal medicine. He currently lives in Refugio.

By the way, the Refugio is not really "high plateau," but very low in the Amazon River Basin. I had never heard of this place before, but it strikes a cord.

Saturday, May 8

Internet's early days in Peru required bulldog approach

Reflections of Peru's Web Pioneer: "The 43 institutions, universities and companies that formed the RCP based their work on the idea that in a country like Peru, where there were four telephones for every hundred people, mounting a dial-up ISP would not make cyberspace popular.

"Soriano came up with a different approach -- he built public Internet booths (much like cybercafes), making Net access cheap.

"The first ISP in Latin America, it provided computer training to 50,000 people. In the last seven years, a thousand of these booths, called cabinas públicas, were built all over Peru" Wired News This story dates from 2001, but I'm sure that it still rings true. José Soriano is a real character who has achieved a lot in Peru. He was pushing the Internet when most companies sniffed at it as a hobby, like ham radio operators. My former employer, the Intenational Potato Center, was one of those founding institutions in those early days, even though they had other options for telecommuncations because they say it as crucial for fomenting research and low-cost communications.

Check out more about the impact of the Internet in Peru. I am adding some new links to that page.

Thursday, May 6

The motherload of Andean links

I came across an interesting site: Steve Froemming, a sociocultural anthropologist who specialized in the Andean and Basque worlds -- interesting combination. There are three interesting pages (broken out of the confines frames): Andean references, online reader of Andean culture and other Andean links. I have not had enough time to pour through all these links. Steve has put in a tremendous amount of time and effort into pulling this information together. Some links are in Spanish, others in English. There may be duplicates and dead links.

See his doctoral thesis: Rational Choice and Collective Action in an Andean Community in a 225-household Quechua village in the Urubamba range of Peru from 1989-1991. Interesting times to be in rural Cusco -- definitely a society under stress. He also has two working papers on line. Again, because the site is in frames, I can't link directly to them.

Saturday, May 1

Cusco's 12 angled stone gives a geometry lesson

Quirky mathematics can be sampled at the Geometry from the Land of the Inca. The site was created by Antonio Gutierrez. You will need Flash and Java installed in your browser to see it. There are puzzles, mind-teasers and theorem proofs. In addition to the geometry, there is a lot to explore, including a tour of Cusco, Machu Picchu and other sites. I only wish that he would shut off the damn music.

I've been hanging onto this link for some time, not knowing when and where to insert it into the site. I decided there was no good place, so now is the time.

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