Peru | Excursions in Lima


Lima is an incredible city full of art, history, and culture. During our four weeks living there, my friends and I had a hard time deciding what to do because there were simply too many exciting things to try out. Here’s a list of the things that you shouldn’t miss while in Lima.

Go to the beach…

I visited Lima during the Winter so going to the beach was not anything like my experiences in LA, however, the ocean views, and rocky shores were my favorite place to read and hang out. It’s also very popular to take surf lessons. You can walk down to the beach closest to Miraflores where local surf instructors have gear for you to rent out for a low price. Another popular spot by the ocean is the Pier 242 in Miraflores which has very nice restaurants and boutiques for souvenirs. The Larcomar Shopping Center is a very nice outdoor mall that overlooks the ocean and beach. This is a good place to find restaurants and clothing shops although the prices are definitely higher than the rest of Lima.

Get coffee at the cat park…

Parque Kennedy is a popular outdoor park which is also a haven for cats. The cats here are very friendly and well taken care of by locals who feed and look after the stray cats. Surrounding the flower gardens are many restaurants and coffee shops that attract tourists. Street vendors also sell delicious desserts such as arroz con leche (sweet rice pudding) and picarón (fried pumpkin and sweet potatoes in the shape of donuts). Artists can also be found selling their paintings along the streets.

See the largest fountain show in the world…

For less than a dollar you can see the Magic Water Circuit (Circuito Mágico del Agua). This 19 acre park has 13 impressive fountains illuminated by colorful lights. My friends and I came here one night and had such a fun time viewing the light shows. Be sure to look up when the light shows are before going so you don’t miss the impressive laser lights.Website

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Buy alpaca sweaters, silver jewelry, textiles, and other souvenirs…

There are tons of places to buy souvenirs for really great prices. The Inca Market and the Indian Market are both located in Miraflores right next to Parque Kennedy and have rows and rows of shops filled with souvenirs of all kinds. These markets have generally the best deals but be aware that they aren’t the best quality. The Feria Barranco is much less touristy and has cool bohemian shops with local art, clothing, and music. This fair is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Here is the link for the fair’s Facebook page including the address and information.

Visit ancient ruins….

The Huaca Pucllana Ruins in Miraflores are an exceptional piece of history that are currently being excavated. Tours for these pre-incan ruins are available in Spanish and English. There is also an incredible restaurant located next to the ruins. I was lucky enough to visit these ruins and dine at this restaurant through my abroad program.

Mika Nagamoto studied abroad in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in summer 2018:

Peru | An Unexpectedly Valuable Group Project


I must admit, I am usually not a very big fan of group projects. It somehow always seems as though the work is unevenly distributed or our group decides on a topic that I have trouble finding interesting. However, the group project that I completed for my course abroad was far different than any I have done in past classes.

Our assignment was to choose a public health topic that we found important. We were then instructed to investigate this health issue on a global scale and within Peru. The purpose of this project was to connect research with what we saw firsthand during our travels throughout Peru. After 4 weeks of visiting health centers, research centers, and NGOs, I was brimming with excitement to learn more about the health issues we saw throughout Peru.

For our project, my group decided on researching acute respiratory infections. I never thought that I would be so eager to research the burden of disease for the common cold but seeing the effects of pollution and limited access to healthcare in Peru gave me a strong fascination about this seemingly mundane issue. The more we researched acute respiratory infections, the more I learned about how the environmental factors in Peru play into this health issue. For example, when we visited Iquitos, I noticed that the main form of cooking was with wood-burning stoves. I discovered through research that in just one year, 2.1 million deaths due to acute respiratory infections in children were associated with using a wood-burning stove. I began to see how the facts and numbers came to life in the people and issues surrounding us. I now had my own observations and experiences to reference and inspire my research.

This class was specifically designed to acknowledge the ways in which diversities and disparities between populations can have unequal impacts on which populations experience health issues. An example of a diversity and disparity associated with negative health impacts can be seen through the effects of wood-burning stoves. For the local people in Iquitos, using a wood-burning stove is the cheapest option and has been the traditional form of cooking for generations. However, those who can only afford a wood-burning stove are unequally affected by acute respiratory infections. Furthermore, women and children are also the populations that are the most exposed to wood burning stoves in Iquitos. So even more specifically, women and children in families that can only afford wood-burning stoves experience the highest rates of acute respiratory infections. Suddenly, the term “acute respiratory infections” was no longer simply a scientific-sounding phrase but a term for an important health issue that I now understood the meaning and impact of. I thought of the women and children we met and how there was no simple solution for protecting them against acute respiratory diseases. I found that this project gave me the opportunity to make connections and tie together everything I had learned in the classroom with my experiences throughout Peru.

Global health initiatives are designed to address the disparities that unequally effect vulnerable populations. Having these examples from my time abroad has given me a new respect for the field and an understanding of why it is so important to work on health issues such as acute respiratory infections.

This group project also gave me an opportunity to get to know the students in my class and see their strengths and creative problem-solving skills. We all spent many hours researching together in our favorite study spots throughout Lima. We found countless cozy cafes with excellent coffee and delicious pastries. We stayed up helping each other find documents or translate Peruvian sources written in Spanish. It gave us all an opportunity to share our interests and perspectives from varying majors. The nursing major in our group explained to us all of the medical terms we needed to know while the sociology major in our class shared articles with us that explained the societal factors that effect disease. It was a truly collaborative project that brought together all of our strengths and varying fields of study.

Mika Nagamoto studied abroad in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in summer 2018:

Peru | Machu Picchu: Exploring the Seventh Wonder of the World


It is difficult to describe the amount of excitement I felt when I found out I had the opportunity to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Machu Picchu is one of those places I had heard about and seen pictures of but never did I imagine getting to explore it for myself. When visiting Peru, it’s nearly impossible to pass up the opportunity of visiting Machu Picchu. After traveling around Cusco and the Sacred Valley, I was ready for my adventure to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu

Our trip began in the town of Ollantaytambo where we took a Peru Rail train to the trailhead of our hike to Machu Picchu. While there are tons of great routes to Machu Picchu, we decided to take the Short Inca Trail route (sometimes called the Kilometer 104 hike). To do this route it is very important to book far in advance. A limited amount of tourists are allowed on the trail and hiking passes sell out very quickly. Most groups need to book about 6 months in advance. If all the passes are sold out, it is also possible to book through different tour companies but these tours also tend to fill-up quickly. We decided to use the Sam Travel tour company for our trip that included transportation, accommodation, and several meals. To start the Short Inca Trail, we took the train from Ollantaytambo to the stop for Kilometer 104. From here we began the 8-mile hike towards Machu Picchu.

The Inca Trail was my absolute favorite part of our travels in Peru. This route is the same trail that the Inca used to access Machu Picchu from neighboring towns and the Inca capital, Cusco. We hiked up ancient, carved-stone steps formed centuries ago by travelers with the same destination as us. We gazed across incredible views of valleys and mountains as we hiked along jagged trails weaving through steep peaks. Along the way we passed through Wina Wayna, a smaller yet extraordinary archeological site made up of steep terraces leading up to a sacred temple. The final stop before reaching Machu Picchu is the Sun Gate (Inti punku). As we climbed up Inca stairs using both our hands and feet, my eyes fixated on the view of the valley ahead of us. Standing in these ruins was where I caught my first glance of the seventh wonder of the world.

We walked the remainder of the trail with a full view of Machu Picchu ahead of us. Instead of entering Machu Picchu on the same day that we hiked the Inca trail, we took the bus down to Aguas Calientes for only $12. Aguas Calientes is the central town for tourists traveling to Machu Picchu. Alternative routes include train rides to Aguas Calientes rather than hiking along the Inca Trail. We stayed the night in a cozy hotel called El Santuario in Aguas Calientes and made sure we got good rest before our early wake-up the next day.

The next morning we took the first bus to Machu Picchu. During peak season it’s definitely necessary to get in line as early as possible. It was a rainy day when we visited Machu Picchu but there were still plenty of crowds and over an hour-long line for the bus. After a short bus ride to the entrance of the ruins, we began our tour of Machu Picchu. Exploring this impressive, ancient architecture and learning about the sophisticated culture of the Inca gave me an immense appreciation for the historic civilization that ruled this region in the 15th century.

My group also decided to take the hike to Wayna Picchu, the neighboring mountain to Machu Picchu. This hike was much less busy than Machu Picchu and was certainly memorable. It was only a two-mile hike to the summit of the mountain but it is a very steep climb up high steps carved by the Inca. Those who are afraid of heights may not like this hike very much but the views at the top are undoubtedly worth it. To hike Wayna Picchu you have to buy separate passes far in advance and spots are very limited. Our group took our time to explore the ruins located at the top of the mountain but we started the hike at 10:30am and got back to the buses by 2:00pm.

After an amazing day of touring Machu Picchu, petting llamas roaming amongst the ruins, and climbing ancient steps to the top of a mountain, we took a bus back to Aguas Calientes where we reminisced about the incredible adventures we had and the many memories that would last a life-time.

Mika Nagamoto studied abroad in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in summer 2018:

Peru | Brisas del Titicaca


Music and dancing are integral aspects of culture in Peru. Traditions have been passed on through generations that keep the culture of music and dance alive. Lima is a cultural hub in which people from all across Peru bring their unique traditions with them. In order to experience some of this rich culture, our professors brought us to “Brisas del Titicaca”. This lively center brings together traditions from all across Peru, creating a diverse performance of dance and music.

The artists here were not only extremely skilled but also expressed their passion and pride through their performance. The performers bring the audience through a journey to the various regions of Peru by portraying the folklore dance and music from each location. Every dance was energetic and bold with equally bold costumes and choreography. The audience sang along with popular songs and every dance ended with an exuberant round of applause. A mixture of colorful lights, costumes, movements, and sounds created a lively energy between the performers and audience members.

Not only were we able to enjoy this performance as spectators, we were also encouraged to participate in the dancing. Throughout the show, audience members were invited to enter the stage and dance. I was amazed to see that the majority of audience members eagerly approach the stage every time we were given the opportunity. Dancing with other audience members made the experience all the more immersive as there was no divide between the stage and the audience. This unique performance gave me a glimpse of the depth and diversity that resides within Peru and I hope to continue to learn about the traditions and culture in Peru.

Mika Nagamoto studied abroad in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in summer 2018:

Peru | What to Wear in Lima


Mornings in Lima during the winter are usually crisp and foggy. During the day the temperature ranges from the high 70ºF to the low 50°F. However, the humidity in Lima makes it feel a bit colder than that. For a typical day going to class or walking around Lima, I usually threw on a pair of jeans, a long sleeve shirt, a light sweater, and a warm fleece or light down-jacket. My friends and I walked almost everywhere throughout Lima so I either wore comfortable leather boots, hiking boots, or tennis shoes.

For sight-seeing or excursions, I would fill up a bottle of drinking water at the hotel (you can’t drink tap water in Lima so this helped me save money on bottled water). I brought a thin fanny pack everywhere I went and wore the fanny pack under my clothes. I may have looked like an absolute tourist but it was definitely worth it to feel like my money, passport, phone, and camera where always safe. In addition to the fanny pack, I would bring a small bag to carry things like brochures, maps, and sunglasses. During our program we also often took trips to more remote areas and healthcare centers. For these outings I found it useful to have a small drawstring backpack to carry snacks, water, and a small notebook to take jot down information and reflections. For these locations it was also important to have shoes that I didn’t mind getting dirty and had good traction for walking through muddy areas.

Mika Nagamoto studied abroad in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in summer 2018:

Peru | Introduction to Peruvian Food


For our first group excursion in Lima, our professors decided to take us out to a traditional Peruvian lunch. In Peru, it’s common to eat larger lunches and smaller dinners. Lunch may be a three-course meal with appetizers, a main course, and dessert. I had heard that the food in Peru was amazing but the mouth-watering, jaw dropping, taste-bud loving food that we ate far exceeded my expectations. When we sat down we were immediately served chichi morada: a common drink in Peru that is commonly served warm. Chicha is made from purple corn, lime, cinnamon, clove, pineapple, and sugar. I quickly gulped down several large glasses of this sweet drink and sense then have looked for chicha at every restaurant I go to. After we were served drinks, heaping plates of steaming food were brought out to us. What appeared to be a full meal was actually only the appetizers. Below is a list of all of the incredible appetizers we ate.

  • Anticuchos: Tender cow hearts marinated in vinegar and spices and served with Peruvian yellow corn
  • Causa Rellena de Cangrejo: Yellow potato rolls with avocado, lime, onion, and yellow chili pepper
  • Papa a la Huancaína: A common dish served cold with yellow potatoes, quail eggs, olives, and a popular Huacaína sauce made from ají amarillo paste, various white cheeses, garlic, and milk

Although the appetizers certainly satisfied my hunger, soon after we were brought more heaping plates of food for our main course. Our meal included:

  • Arroz con Pollo: Pulled chicken with cilantro rice, peas, carrots, and bell peppers
  • Lomo Saltado: Strips of steak cooked with grilled peppers and served over yellow potato fries
  • Ají de Gallina: pulled chicken serves with Huacaína sauce, and olives
  • Carapulcra: A modern version of an Incan stew made with tender pork, papa seca (dehydrated potatoes), ají panca, garlic, and cloves

Finally, our meal ended with a grand finale: dessert. Peruvian “dulces” are often very sweet and creamy.. I was overwhelmed by how incredible everything tasted. Here’s a list of some of the desserts we

  • Picarones: Fried dough made from squash and sweet potatoes
  • Leche Asada: Baked milk pudding made from eggs, milk, and vanilla
  • Pan Tres Leche: Sweet, moist, cake made with three types of milk (hence the name) evaporated mile, condensed milk, and heavy cream
  • Arroz con Leche y Mazamorra morada: Sweet, rice pudding served with thick, purple corn pudding
  • Manjar Blanco (Dulce de Leche): A sweet, carmel-like pudding made into a sticky dessert with milk, vanilla, and sugar

Mika Nagamoto studied abroad in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in summer 2018:

Peru | Packing for Summer Abroad


Helpful Tips:

  • Roll all of your clothing so that it fits neatly into your luggage or buy packing cubes for good organization
  • Put all of your liquids into plastic bags
  • Pack light (most students brought one larger suitcase that they checked and one carryon backpack)
    • Note: for our program we went to Iquitos for a week. It’s helpful to have one smaller duffle bag or suitcase that can be used to pack your things for a week. Bringing a large suitcase or checking a bag is a bit of a hassle for shorter trips.
  • Bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and a hairbrush on the plane (it’s a long flight and especially if you’re on a red-eye these items are much appreciated)
  • Don’t forget to download music onto your phone (if you use Spotify this is especially helpful to remember before you leave Wifi)
  • Keep all of your valuables and an extra pair of clothing in your carry-on (incase you loose your luggage)

Fully Disclosed Packing List: (note that I decided to stay for the entire summer in Peru instead of just the length of the program so this list is for 3 months of luggage)

  1. Clothing
    • 3 pairs of jeans
    • 3 pairs of comfortable leggings
    • 1 pair of warm sweatpants
    • 7 long sleeve shirts/light sweaters
    • Several layers of warm jackets: a fleece or light down jacket are the most common layers that students brought
    • 4 t-shirts
    • Hiking pants
    • 2 hiking/workout material tank-tops
    • 1 good layer to keep mosquitos away: a thick flannel or light jean jacket is helpful
    • 1 rain jacket
    • 1 pair of jean shorts
    • Clothing for Iquitos (includes many of the items mentioned above)

I was fortunate enough to spend one week in the Amazon area of Iquitos. During July it is summer in Iquitos which is very hot and humid. Having light linen clothes helps the most with the heat but it’s also important to try to completely cover your skin as much as possible to protect from mosquitos. Most students wore leggings or linen pants, and a long sleeve shirt or flannel when we went into the Amazon. Hats, sunglasses, and a small day-bag for excursions were also very helpful.

  1. Shoes
    • Good walking shoes with traction; the streets in Lima are all polished cement and the morning rain makes the pavement slippery (sounds a little ridiculous but I fall an average of about twice every 4 blocks)
    • Comfortable boots; for going to nicer dinners and cultural events
    • Hiking boots (there are several great hikes nearby Lima and this is especially necessary for Machu Picchu)
  2. Toiletries (a lot of these items can be bought at the stores in Lima in case you forget)
    • Mosquito repellent
    • Anti-itch cream
    • Sunscreen
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Shampoo/conditioner (the hotel has free shampoo and body soap)
    • Deodorant
    • Body/face wash
    • Medications (remember to bring enough to last the entire trip)
    • Pepto-bismol
    • Lotion
    • GermX
    • Contacts/glasses
    • Electronics
    • A small camera for videos and pictures
    • An adapter for outlets; most outlets work with phone chargers or regular two-prong plugs

When packing for me study abroad trip, I tried my best to make sure I was thinking of all possible scenarios I would be in and all of the different types of places I would need clothes for. Lima also has many shopping malls around Miraflores so if anyone forgot anything it was very easy to buy it in a nearby store. Around Parque Kennedy are several clothing and department stores that had many options for a relatively good price.

Mika Nagamoto studied abroad in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in summer 2018:

Peru | Settling in to a New Home


After a stressful week of finals and many goodbyes to recent graduates, it was definitely as hectic as it was exciting to finally pack my bags and head to the airport for Peru. I arrived 2 hours early for my flight and wore a UCLA t-shirt so that other students in the program could pick me out of the busy LAX crowd. At the gate I soon ran into several of the other students who were on the same flight to Lima as me. After 8 hours of flying we landed in our new home for the month. Customs went quickly and getting our luggage was simple. Just outside of the luggage area we found the desk for the Green Taxi Company that our professors suggested that we use. It was only 100 soles (about $32) to take an hour-long shuttle for 7 students.

As we drove to our hotel we were able to catch our first glimpse of the city. Foggy white skies, sea-side cliffs blanketed in bright green vines, and crisp ocean air greeted us as we weaved through the urban roads. We arrived at our hotel about 5 hours early but they were extremely accommodating and checked us all into our rooms shortly after we arrived. The hot showers were a warm welcome after a long day of travel. Our goals for the first day settling in were to (a) exchange money (b) eat (c) buy large jugs of bottled water and (d) buy SIM cards for our phones.

(a) We immediately found a bank located just across the street from our hotel. Buuut, unfortunately we realized that it was a Sunday and all of the banks were closed. Luckily most restaurants and stores take Visa and Mastercard and we were able to easily exchange money at the ATM the next day.

(b) There were plenty of food options very close to our hotel in the neighborhood Miraflores. We decided to eat at a restaurant near Kennedy Park, about a 20-minute walk from our hotel. Kennedy Park is in the center of Mira Flores and is surrounded by an assortment of cozy coffee shops, lively sports bars, and restaurants with traditional Peruvian food.

(c) As we are Americans whose stomachs can’t handle the tap water, we immediately needed to buy a lot of bottled water. There was a grocery store just across from our hotel where we bought groceries, snacks, and toiletries.

(d) Many students in our group, including myself, decided to buy Peruvian SIM cards so that we could communicate, call Ubers, and use our google maps without Wifi. Buying a SIM card is definitely one of the cheapest options compared to some of the international plans for Verizon and AT&T. The journey to buying a SIM card was a bit of an adventure… After wandering through Lima fora an extended period of time, we finally found a Claro phone store near Kennedy Park where we could buy SIM cards. We all received our Peruvian numbers using a data package that included unlimited Facebook and Whatsapp Messaging along with 4GB of data. All of this cost no more than $10. The address for this phone store is listed below:

LIMA, Av. José Larco 652, Miraflores 18, Perú

The first couple of days in Lima were filled with a lot of wandering, getting lost, meeting new people, learning new social norms, and practicing some rusty Spanish. Despite the small hiccups in navigating a new city, I immediately felt comfortable in the beautiful neighborhood of Miraflores. With the ocean only a 15-minute walk from our hotel, surrounded by countless incredible restaurants, and accompanied by 25 adventurous UCLA students, I felt nothing but excitement for the next 4 weeks living in Lima.

Mika Nagamoto studied abroad in Lima and Iquitos, Peru, in summer 2018:

Chile| Torres del Paine


There is a beautiful national park in the south of Chile where you can find penguins, seals, cormorants, and a wide range of other wildlife. In the beautiful mountains and glaciers of Patagonia there are numerous opportunities to hike, take a boat tour, or fine dine in a seafood restaurant along the sea. The slow but strong impacts of climate change are prevalent as you pass the snow capped mountains and watch the wildlife hunt for food. They are having to adapt to new temperatures and climates, while adjusting to a transforming ecosystem.

I spent the first day taking a boat tour to Isla Magdalena where I spent an hour walking around an island covered in small Magellanic penguins and seagulls. Along the shore were also a flock of South American terns that reminded me of Alameda County’s local Least Tern. The penguins burrowed in little caves that they buried in the ground and I think some may have even had chicks. It was an amazing experience to see the penguins so up close, as I especially appreciated their waddle and interactions with us and each other.

After walking the island, we boarded the boat and took off towards another small island that forbids tourists to walk on it. There we watched elephant seals, seal lions, and other species lounging and climbing on the rocks. They allowed us to climb up to the roof of the boat to sit and watch from a distance. I felt so tiny sitting on this small boat in the middle of a vast ocean. The blue sky was endless and it reminded me that the only limits we have are those we put on ourselves. It is not easy to break comfort zones and put in the actions necessary to experience life for all it has to offer, but through time, patience, and discipline I found myself learning to love trying new things and exploring by myself. Spending so much time by myself has given me a new comfortability in being alone and staying focused on my personal priorities. While, this may seem outside of my trip to the south of Chile, it was through these experiences of traveling that gave me more independence and confidence in myself.

Having the opportunity to tour through the extraordinary lands of Torres del Paine the following morning was also a life changing experience. The mountains were covered in snow and the water of the lakes were a beautiful turquoise blue. We visited a cave that was once inhabited by the indigenous people of Patagonia, the Selk’nam and Aonikenk. After walking over a swinging bridge and through a small valley covered in sand we were met with beautiful glaciers. The sand and small rocks hit us hard as the wind blew strong. Once again I was met with feelings of being so powerful, but so small. I let the wind blow me around as I danced along the water and stared into the cloudless sky. It was during this tour that I saw an armadillo in person for my first time, he was super cute! There was also a beautiful eagle that landed right next to where we were resting. After months of spending time within the city and university, it was great to get away to nature and sit alone with the sounds of wildlife and land practically untouched.

I cannot wait to return to Chile and Argentina in the future to explore more of the beautiful lands and regions. There are so many hidden gems within the North and South of both countries, it is impossible to see everything within such little time, especially while staying on top of school.

Chile | Spaces for Memory


Memorials and memory spaces are popular ways that the lives of the disappeared go remembered. Often the memory sites have lists of names, photographs, or other artifacts that remind us of the lives that were lost during the brutal dictatorships of the seventies and eighties. Chile’s dictatorship under Pinochet began in 1973. Thousands of people were tortured and exiled and a small percentage of them were killed aka disappeared.

Memorials such as the one at Villa Grimaldi, where many of these photos were taken, are examples of how spaces once filled with torture, violence, and state terrorism can be transformed into spaces for healing, education, reflection, and community. Villa Grimaldi was a torture center during the dictatorship in Chile that began in 1973 and ended in 1990. Today, Villa Grimaldi has trees, fountains, a pool, and other parts of the memorial that are remainders of the dictatorship, but most of the site was destroyed. There is a rose garden that gives memory to the women who disappeared and a fountain to represent cleansing and recognition of those who were killed by death flights.

One thing that is common in nearly all of the memorials I visited is a section of the memorial or memory site to be designated to informing visitors on a brief history of the dictatorship and why there are names, testimonies, and photographs that represent something so much larger than I could understand. My classes often questioned who should create the memorials and who they should be made for. Some of the memorials/ memory sites we went to were Chile’s National Stadium,The Museum of Human Rights and Memory, and The General Cemetery.

The museum was very informative and shed light on connections between the violation of human rights in Chile to violation of human rights around the world. They had audios, videos, and other artifacts that brought me back in time and gave me a look into the horrors that took place during the dictatorship. Newspaper clips, coloring books, and life size images of people on the wall gave us something to hold on to, connect with, and feel. The difference between the museum and other sites for memory is that the museum was curated and has galleries that change throughout the year.

The cemetery on the other hand holds its memories and information like a box with a thousand keys. It cannot move nor can it be replaced. The cemetery provides us with a much more personal interaction with those who had been lost. It is not just seeing their names or watching interviews, it is being in the presence of their spirit and their area of rest.

While some may try their best to forget the past, the past lives through our present. It defines our today, but we get to write the definition. How do we heal from trauma and connect to our past while creating a sustainable foundation for our future? Memories provide us with context, hope, and a point of reference as we move forward.

We often discussed: how do we learn from memory? What do we do with the archives of our past? Does public symbology provide spaces for healing or reinstitute trauma?

Obstacles regarding memory and space are universal and can be seen throughout the world. We fight for representation of the Tongan people, the people of the land in which UCLA rests, and the people of South America fight for advocacy of the Mapuche people as well as other groups. Our memories of trauma and historical events vary depending on our community and time in life. We can utilize our memories as a community for social justice, art, and so much more.