Not to be confused with Ciudad Eten (Eten City), Puerto Eten is a fishing village 19km south of Chiclayo, accessible by convi (a small bus) for S/ 2.40 (89 Canadian or 86 US cents). With less than 3000 people, it is small and seemed overly quiet, but it has a warm feeling. Its houses are old and colourful and the beaches are numerous (12).
Sugar cane and/or bamboo roofing is still found here in the Lambayeque region.
An out-dated world map adjacent to a main road.
At the end of this street, the pavement ends and the beach begins.
I was curious to know what lied beyond that vast Pacific Ocean.
If you were to continue straight ahead, you would eventually arrive in
Choiseul, Solomon Islands, in the Pacific Ocean. The islands have been inhabited for [tens of] thousands of years. The first known European to reach them was Spaniard Álvaro de Mendaña in 1568, naming the islands Islas Salomón. [Historical context: Spaniard colonizador Francisco Pizarro
arrived in Cajamarca (click here and here) (northern Peru, the summer residence of Inca leaders) in 1532, from the opposite direction (from Europe). His brutal campaign to overthrow the Incan Empire would last 40 years later, in 1572. Luckily, he didn’t totally succeed.]
Back in the Pacific Ocean, Spain’s colonial rival of Britain claimed the Solomon Islands as a British protectorate from 1893 to 1978. While ‘independent’, Solomon Islands still have Queen Elizabeth II as their official Head of State. Gotta love colonialism…alive and well over five centuries since “[In] 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”
Oceans are still blue, and so, too, are [‘former’] European colonies present around the globe.
In the 1960s, the port was the most important of the Lambayeque region; all of the locally-produced sugar cane and sugar was exported from Puerto Eten and many products were imported from other regions.
While the dock is used much less nowadays, a new and improved port is in the development plans for Puerto Eten. It is expected to create more jobs for families who make a living from artisan fishing.
While I actually took this picture a few weeks ago at Pimentel, a few kilometres up the coast,
it captures the artisan-style fishing that is common in Puerto Eten, using these hand-made boats,
called caballitos de totora, traditionally made of reeds, used by Peruvian fishermen and women
for no less than the last 3000 years.
I’m hoping to have a full beach day one day soon as spring rolls on by and summer approaches. The daily temperatures are about 22 degrees (C) in the day and 17 at night (63 to 72 degrees F), which may not sound like much for a location so close to the equator, but it feels ideal. Although there is usually a steady breeze, Chiclayo also has a very high UV index of about 14 on most days, so one needs to limit their time in the sun, even if they don’t feel too hot with the nearly constant breeze.