My name is Jacob Diaz. Actually, here in Peru, everyone has two surnames – my paternal last name is Diaz, and my maternal last name is Amanca. My last names speak to the mixed culture in the country due to the Spanish conquest in the 1500s and the Inca conquest of the natives in this area of South America before that. Diaz is a common Spanish surname while Amanca comes from “amankay” (the Quechua word for Peruvian lilies, also known as “Lily of the Incas”). Quechua refers to the native languages of many of the groups of people conquered by the Incas (click here for more about quechua).
What Do You Know About Cusco, Peru?
I was born and raised in the city of Cusco, Peru, and my house is only 45 minutes away walking distance from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco. Needless to say, as a Cusco native, I can’t express enough how much I love sharing about the charm of my city from local culture, gastronomy, traditions, colorful celebrations, and history to showing people around my city, such as the sites covered in the Cusco City Tour and our Walking Tour in Cusco. I also love traveling, photography, and getting to know people from other countries, which is why I chose a career in tourism. I studied to be a registered tour guide 6 years ago and continue to thoroughly enjoy this job because it never feels like “work.”
How Did You Come to Learn English?
To be honest, growing up, I remember how difficult it was for me to learn English in school, but I was lucky enough to see how powerful it was as an avenue for me to exchange ideas with and learn from people from other countries. And Cusco is a great place to practice because it’s a city focused on tourism with more than 3 million tourists who visit each year. That’s how I came to decide to put real effort into learning English after high school. I even ended up teaching English at Jóvenes Con Propósito (Youth With Purpose) to Cusco youth graduating from orphanages or residential care (contact us to volunteer in Cusco). Seeing as how speaking English has made such a difference in my life, it became important for me to pass on that knowledge to others.
- Years Living in Peru: My whole life
- Where I Was Born: Cusco, Peru
- Where I Grew Up: Cusco, Peru
- Languages I Speak & Understand: Spanish (native) – English (advanced) – Quechua (the native language of the Andes; basic)
- My Degree: Técnico en Turismo (Tourism Specialist), Professional & Registered Tour Guide in Cusco, Peru
- Alma Mater: Instituto de Educación Superior Tecnológico Privado Khipu (Khipu Private Institute of Technology)