IQUITOS - Portal to the Amazon by Cliff Tulpa, Author

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31 top The people cook “asado” or bar-b-que everyday on the streets and in open air markets. It is actually a social time for them to talk about current events, politics and gossip. The traditional way of cooking fish is in bijou leaves. The bijou leaves give the fish a unique and delicious flavor. Sabalo, Corvina, Doncella, Paiche, Paco or Gamitana, Boca Chico, and many of the catfish species are the local fish favorites. Also on the “asado” here is “lagarto” (caiman), chicken, chorizo sausage and “cecina” (red colored dried pork jerky)

Visiting Iquitos is like taking stepping back in time. To a time when families stayed together visiting on the front porch and sidewalks with their neighbors. Iquitos families enjoy taking daily walks in the neighborhood to meet and talk with their friends about current events and things happening in and around the area. On weekends, the men will normally tell stories, jokes and lies, play cards and drink beer all day. The women will gossip and cook, preparing some special dish for the family. The whole time the stereo blasts out cumbia music at such high levels it’s difficult to hear anybody talking! As a result, the people talk very loud. The people of Iquitos love to get out. Day and night you find people filling the streets, shops and parks. They will go to watch football

(soccer), to the markets, to the cinema, and to the parks, plazas or Boulevard. And they love to dance. Every Thursday through Sunday huge outdoor dance halls with live bands such as Explosión or Ilusión are playing Peruvian cumbia, salsa and other music styles to thousands of people of all ages dancing and gyrating wildly. A very provocative and sexy dance style. The population census also shows far more women than men. You have probably never seen so many young people smiling and laughing, ready to dance, play, and flirt for fun. Every holiday is celebrated and there are a lot of parades and parties. Iquitos loves to party and it is evident with many festivals and celebrations throughout the year. 31