|The bright coloured crafts are beautiful to look at!|
In the afternoon, we took a tour to downtown Lima, and toured one of the oldest churches. Our Inca guide, Edwin, was a wealth of information about the history of the area. Once Chris Columbus discovered America, it was all over for the aboriginals, as the natural wealth of the area was a highly sought after commodity. Unfortunately, in order to get at the gold and silver, the Spaniards had to wipe out much of the Inca population. According to Edwin and some of the history books that I have been reading, the Incas were naturally friendly, and welcomed the Spanish with gifts and hospitality. This naivety allowed the Spaniards, who numbered around 160 plus a few slaves, to wrest control of Peru from the Incas, who numbered in the millions. Through direct slaughter, along with the help of diseases like smallpox, it is estimated that for every 59 Incas before the arrival of the Spaniards, there was only one left by the end of the Spanish conquisition.
In touring the city today, we learned that in colonial times, only the very rich were allowed to live in the city, and all the buildings, including the train station and the post office had to be palaces. Where did these riches come from, you might ask? Well, from the plunder of gold and silver stolen from the Incas, of course!