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A Q&A with Expert Jeff Cole

By | April 6, 2014

Q: What is your favorite part of this tour?

A: First and foremost, my Peruvian colleagues, all of whom are first-rate. Second, as there can't be a single favorite part of the tour, it is the chance to see my god-daughter and her family in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. I became Hilary's god-father in a traditional Quechua baptism ceremony in September 2001—just days after 9/11—when I cut her hair for the first time in her life. That ceremony, which was originally intended to be a family affair, was transformed into an event for the entire Smithsonian group, who needed something positive and forward-looking given the events of a few days earlier. The grace of the Peruvian people on that occasion is forever preserved in the way I remember how my compadres (Hilary's parents) helped a band of stranded Americans in September 2001.


Dr. Jeffrey A. Cole

Jeffrey A. Cole has led over 50 Smithsonian Journeys to Latin America since 1992, including 26 to Peru and 20 to Chile. He has taught Latin American Studies at Clark University, Tulane University, SUNY-Oswego, Cornell University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Smith College.

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