Between Inca Walls

A Peace Corps Memoir

Non-Fiction - Memoir
328 Pages
Reviewed on 05/31/2020
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Author Biography

At an early age, I read about the exploits of others in far off lands. During long, boring car rides, I imagined ominous figures lurking in the hills near my Southeastern Montana home and wrote stories about them. At sixteen, I moved with my family to California where I explored real foreign cultures.
During college, I spent weekends working with Cesar Chavez and the California migrant worker population. That motivated me to volunteer in a small Mexican village for a summer. There I helped start a school and a library. After graduation from Holy Names University I joined the Peace Corps and was sent to the Andes of Perú where I performed community development work in Abancay, near Cusco. My roommate, Marie and I taught indigenous children in schools with dirt floors, trained students for marching competitions, and founded 4-H clubs. I fell in love with my town, my pupils, and a local university student.
Upon returning to California from Peru, I earned an MSW from UC Berkeley and a doctorate in Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco. I worked for 32 years as a school social worker, psychologist, administrator and university professor. My husband and I raised two sons. After retiring, I worked part-time as a travel counselor.
My passions are traveling and writing about my travels. My writing has appeared in World View Magazine, Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, Dispatches, clevermag.org, and the California Writers Club’s Literary Review. My website is: www.evelynlatorre.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Between Inca Walls: A Peace Corps Memoir by Evelyn Kohl LaTorre is an intimate story about a young woman determined to make a fulfilling life for herself. Born and raised in a small town in Montana, Evelyn's family moved to California when she was sixteen years old where she immersed herself in the Latino culture of its migrant workers. This awakened her desire to help the less fortunate and it brought her to Apaseo el Grande, a small town in Mexico, to help set up a library. She eventually joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Abancay, a small mountain town in the Andes of Peru. Together with another Peace Corps volunteer, Marie, she spent eighteen months working in various capacities here and eventually fell in love with Antonio, a Peruvian university student.

Evelyn Kohl La Torre's Between Inca Walls: A Peace Corps Memoir is a candid memoir of a young Peace Corps volunteer assigned to a scenic mountain town in the Andes of Peru. Hers is a story of adventure set in Peru's colorful culture that unfolds in vivid descriptions and beautiful metaphors. Evelyn Kohl La Torre got more than what she bargained for when she joined the Peace Corps and as she recounts the sights, sounds, and smells of her experiences in the Andes, it is easy to be sucked in this beautiful tale. Reading Between Inca Walls is like taking that trip made by a young, naive but determined woman volunteer, and the road is certainly lively, winding and very exciting.