Transportation Strikes

Trip Start Jul 03, 2007
Trip End Jul 25, 2007

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Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, July 13, 2007

Wow!  So much has happened since I last wrote an entry.  Well, we´ve returned from the jungle and it was a great time.  Since it was extremely cold we didn´t run into many mosquitoes so I think we´re in the clear for malaria.

Unfortunately, my focus will not be on the jungle trip for this entry but much more exciting stuff!!  Lately we´d been hearing rumblings of an upcoming transportation strike and yesterday it went into effect.  Let me give you some background information. Teachers in Peru make about $200 a month, which is well below the cost of living.  In order to fight for higher pay the unions have decided in conjunction with the transportation industry to strike.  They want to hit the government where it hurts the most: the economy.  Tourism makes up abut 80% of the economy here in Peru and it is the high season for tourism.  Anyway, since we´ve been in the jungle for the last couple of days we didn´t know exactly what was going on but now we do.  When we headed to the airport today for our flight to the Lake Titicaca/Bolivia area we were informed that our flight had been cancelled due to the airport being closed.  The protestors shut it down.  Our flight was then re-routed to Cusco and we then changed it to Lima, the capital.  It appears that no one has definitve answers as to what roads are closed and which are opened; however, it appears that no one anticipates the strike ending anytime soon.  After watching the news tonight it appears that the strike has just begun with large boulders blocking roads or fires.  In addition, they´ve begun brining in new teachers to replace those that are striking. We can´t get anywhere in the country with the guarantee of a time frame or a return.  Therefore, we headed to Lima because that is where we have to fly out. The sad thing is that we have two weeks and a ton of activities left to do but it appears that we won´t make it.  We are going to wait it out a couple of days but will probably be home significantly early.  We are in no danger whatsoever and actually it is difficult to be too upset, especially when the cause is so warranted.  All three of us work in education and believe in the right to fair pay but it just appears that it will effect our summer vacation. More updates to come.

Live, love, laugh,
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