IQUITOS - Portal to the Amazon by Cliff Tulpa, Author

Page 29

Many of the visiting foreigners “extranjeros” find the flirting of the young friendly native women of Iquitos very attractive and easily fall in love. There are old and deep rooted superstitions and legends of the beautiful women of the Amazon River or “sirens” that capture the hearts of the extranjeros, then never leave Iquitos. The children of a mixture of these indigenous natives and extranjeros are called “mestizos”.

This has been happening for hundreds of years, since the Spanish Conquistadors fell in love with the beautiful native women, then followed years later by the extranjeros of Europe during the rubber boom, and continuing today with the extranjeros that visit or come to work in Iquitos. Some extranjeros never leave Iquitos as they become enchanted and captured by their new “jungle love”.

34 - 35 The young women (chicas) of Iquitos are friendly, talkative and approachable. Since they are so outwardly friendly, sometimes tourists mistake their smiles as personal flirting to show interest, but really it is just their custom here in Iquitos and they just love to smile, laugh and dance.