In the Beginning…
Upon arriving to Lima, Peru, I was excited to venture into and explore a new city! I knew nothing about the people except that they are Spanish (like myself) and they know how to make really yummy food (again, like myself)!
Lima has some of the world’s top chefs and Michelin star restaurants (i.e Central, Maido, and Astrid & Gaston) that will blow your mind! Peru is known for their incredible national seafood dish – Cebiche or Ceviche, and their Pisco Sours. Delicioso! Oh, and, of course, Machu Picchu, but that’s in the city of Cusco and another story for later.
I went on a free-walking tour and discovered something that I had not even realized until then. After taking in all of the marvelous, story-filled, vibrant colorful street art of Lima, our tour guide took us into a little art gallery and showed us one of his favorite pieces of art.
It was by a Peruvian artist (his name is unknown) who painted his self-portrait but divided it into four panels that represented each of his Peruvian ethnicities – Spanish, African, French, & Japanese. I immediately became enthralled and a burst of energy came through me. I was so inspired, that this masterpiece confirmed that I was on the right track to fulfilling my true purpose in this world. It compelled me to continue on with my own journey. To put on my oxygen mask first before helping others, so to speak.
My Why, My Power
The reason why I was so moved and captivated was because “my why” was revealed through this portrait, as a reminder. You see, this portrait reminded me that my why has to do with who I am. Who am I? My why is me. My why is you. My why is all of humanity. My why is the knowledge and understanding of who I am and where I came from – my roots, my ancestral history, where I am today and where I’ll be tomorrow. By understanding my family history, I can move forward from the past to the present for the future.
This is where the concept of ‘putting on your oxygen mask first before helping others put on theirs’ comes into play. This reminder is counterintuitive. It’s in our nature to help others before helping ourselves. In order to help others, you have to take care of yourself first. By knowing and understanding who I am, I can ensure that I have the ability to give the best part of myself to others.
As a Puerto Rican with mixed ethnicities of European descent (Spanish, French, British), African, American Indian, and Asian, especially within my own family, I can relate a lot to the Peruvian people ethnically.
Peru is a multi-ethnic country formed by the combination of different groups over five centuries including Spanish, African, French & Italian, Japanese & Chinese, Portuguese and Germans and British. Because of this, they identify with their citizenship as Peruvian and not their ethnicity.
So next time you visit Peru, don’t ask to take your picture with a ‘real’ Peruvian. Know that they are all Peruvians.
What is your ‘Why”? I would love to hear what your reasons are for your ‘Whys’! Please comment below.
All the pictures were taken with YI Technology Mirrorless camera