The Calling of the Cows

Hacienda Collpa is an Estate Ranch which dates back to the late 1770’s when Peru was ruled by the Spanish. Cajamarca is a city known for its Banos de Inca and its Leche. The city depends upon tourism, and their lactose products: milk, cheese, and manjar blanco. So what more better an idea than to combine the two? Precisely the idea of the guys behind this here outpost, Hacienda Collpa.

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The men who own the Ranch have created a tourist trap for lack of better words. Hacienda Collpa Estate of Collpa was once one of the largest estates in Cajamarca. The community was once densley populated by Estate owners and their slaves. Hacienda Collpa was a large Milk production, the Mayfield of the early 1800’s in Cajamarca.

Today, it provides an entirely new attraction. The calling of the Cows.

The town has been converted into a modernday farmstead with a lake, an abandoned church, a playground, stables, and the main attraction Las Vacas cows. These aren’t just any old dairy cow, these cows are named, and know them well.

It was as if I had entered into the animated park of Mary Poppins. By the lake, the ducks swam in a row, bathing in the bright sun enjoying their house which was added to the facility in 1933.

At 4:30pm en punto, the head cow boy pulls out his lasso and lashes it as people from all over the world come to see the event. Each cow is then called over a megaphone, and one by one, name by name they file into their stables marked with their names.

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While the naming and hence calling of the cows is quite a spectacular talent, there is an underlying joke about the entire scene. These guys herd in the dough as much as they do the cows. The crowds come, and laugh, and everyone leaves a bit confused as to what just happened.

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It makes me wonder if the event is not just a mere production, but a mockery of the Spaniards who conquered their land and established these ridiculous estates. They overthrew the Incas, and the native culture to grow their own. Are these men trying to make an income, or are they trying to make a point?

The cows rested in their stalls, the children frolliced about the playground, and the women flocked to the milk stand to buy fresh milk. What a more appropriate way to end the trip than with a magical rainbow, entire arch included.