Lima, Peru: Changing of the Palace Guards [Day 42 | Part 1]

Day 42 | Sunday, December 4, 2016

We have read that the changing of the palace guards is an impressive sight and if you go on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month it is done by the Presidential Escort Life Guard Dragoons Regiment “Field Marshal Domingo Nieto”, in the presence of the President of Peru and the First Lady or the chief of the Presidential Military Staff in their absence. We have purposefully waited so that we could go on the 1st Sunday of the month.

Heading out the door this morning we started walking in the direction of the Plaza de Armas through yet another area of this vast town that we have not been through. Not far from our apartment we discovered a small farmers market that must only be out on weekends. We didn’t have time to stop and shop as we were running a little late to be able to make the changing of the guard at noon. Still I love seeing how real life is lived in Lima. We are passing by countless people (sometimes whole families) out running, biking, roller blading, walking and using the outdoor exercise equipment they have in parks. Some are going to markets to get fresh produce for the day and others still are going about their normal Sunday routines.

After finally deciding that we weren’t going to make it on time on foot we ordered an Uber and arrived at the palace gates about 11:40am.

Thankfully we arrived when we did because we had just enough time to pick our prime spot and the festivities began.

We stood at the palace gates for 40 minutes watching the ceremony unfold before us. As we stood there, I reflected on the ceremony, it occurred to me that sometimes traditions are important for creating pride and a sense of knowing who we are and where we come from. One thing I noticed almost immediately upon arriving in Peru is the since of pride Peruvians have in their country. In talking to lots of folks it is evident that they are more than ready to brag about how great their country is and all the wonderful things you should experience while you are here that are unique to Peru. It is honestly a stark contrast to the United States these days. I challenge you to explore and talk about the significance of the traditions that your family takes part in. Know where you come from and be proud of it.

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