Regions plan for Earth Hour 2011 with cultural, educational activities

At least five Peruvian regions have said they will turn off their lights for an hour this Saturday to take part in Earth Hour 2011, state news agency Andina reported.

In Iquitos, the capital of the north-east Loreto department, the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP) and the Environmental Youth Volunteer Network plan to perform typical dances and theatre in one of the city squares when the lights go out from 8:30pm-9:30pm.

“The artists will be illuminated by torches and bonfire that will be lit around the park,” said Andrea Tello Meza of the regional government’s Natural Resources and Environmental Management office.

In Trujillo, the north coast capital of La Libertad region, the city will turn of its lights and ask residents to do the same, while also organizing various cultural activities aimed at raising awareness of climate change.

In the highlands, Cajamarca’s provincial government will support the campaign by offering a show in a popular commercial area called El Quinde. “We chose this place because of the number of people who go there on the weekend and we are looking to raise awareness about this campaign,” said Walter Chavez, the head of government’s environmental development office.

Governments and residents in the southern departments Tacna and Arequipa have said they also plan to take part in the campaign.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Last year, lights went out in important cities and iconic areas across Latin America, including in Peru.

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