Zach Parker

Zachary Parker (Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team - EPAF): Zach graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering in 2004. During his undergraduate studies he spent six months studying engineering in Toulouse, France and another six months studying Spanish in Santiago, Chile in 2004. He also worked at the Study Abroad Office at his university. Between 2004 and 2006, Zach then spent two years working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, teaching Math and Science at a rural secondary school. After returning from Malawi he worked for UNICEF at their headquarters in New York. At the time of his fellowship, Zack was pursuing a Master’s degree in International Development from American University in Washington, D.C working as a research assistant for Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa (PCHPA) in Washington, DC.

Walking to the airport

14 Jul

I managed to get to Cuzco again, but this time it wasn’t with EPAF.  Last week my parents paid a visit to Peru, and we spent a couple days in Cuzco.  It was my second time to visit the city since I arrived in Peru.  This time I got to see more of the city and explore.  I also visited Machu Picchu for the second time, and it happened to be on the second anniversary of it becoming an official member of the “seven wonders of the world.”  They had a big ceremony before the sun rose over the mountains, with the local Peruvians in traditional dress conducting the proceedings.   We probably wouldn’t have seen the sunrise or the ceremony were it not for the insistence of the two Peruvian guys that we had met the night before, who accompanied us on our tour of Machu Picchu at 5 in the morning.  They were both electricians and had very interesting jobs.  They decided to take the tour in English with us to get some practice.  One of them lived in Zambia for a mining company, which we thought was a great coincidence, because while I lived in Malawi a few years ago, I had visited the city where he was living in the north of Zambia.  The other was an electrician for a cruise line and traveled for ten months out of the year.   We thought they were very interesting guys. 

On the day that we were leaving Cuzco, there was a national transportation strike, and Cuzco was no exception.  Luckily the airport wasn’t too far from our hostel in the center of town, because we walked more than half of the way to the Cuzco airport with our luggage!  The strike included taxis too, and only a few taxis braved the protest marches.  Many of the taxis that did were the recipients of a showering of stones thrown at them by the protesters.  This happened a few times right in front of us, and needless to say, we didn’t get into a taxi.  We pretended to have no interest in taxis as we continued to walk to the airport.  Eventually, after we got further away from the center of town, we tried our luck with a taxi and arrived safely at the airport.        

Things have been relatively slow at EPAF this past week or so.  However, tonight several of the people from EPAF are heading to an event in Lima in memory of the “La Cantuta” massacre.  In 1992, under the presidency of Alberto Fujimori, nine students and a professor of La Cantuta University were abducted by a military death squad and never returned.  Tonight there will be some speakers and an art exhibit on display, to remember the victims and their families.  Jess and I will attend.   The case of “La Cantuta” was recently ratified, reinforcing the prison sentences of those responsible for the massacre. 

To follow EPAF on twitter, please use this link (  We hope to update it in both English and Spanish.   Our website is also in transition.  For a more up to date version of our website, you can follow this link (  We will be putting it on the main site shortly (

Posted By Zach Parker

Posted Jul 14th, 2009

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *