Under a moonlit night on Thursday night, the UNFCCC delegates, observers, and researchers crossed town from the Conference venue to the Parque Estadio Nacional in the center of Lima to mingle and enjoy a cornucopia of food, drink, and performances from native Peruvians. In the words of our professor, Neil Leary, this was the “swankiest” party Lima has seen in the past decade. With such a fantastic backdrop and magnificent evening, the official welcome reception for the COP welcome reception wasaonce for the history books.
There were five different areas of the event, as there were in Voces por el Clima: Energy, Sustainable Cities, Oceans, Forests, and Mountains. At each area, there was a unique buffet, open bar, and performances that focused on the specific section. At the Energy section, there was a drum troupe performing that, midway through, pulled three of the Dickinson delegation onto the stage to salsa dance with them.
Later on in the night, there was a presentation by Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, and Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, the Peruvian Minister of the Environment and President of the COP, both of whom met with Dickinson students to talk to them. There was also a live performance from a popular local Spanish rock band from Lima where Dickinson students started a dance party with delegates from Tanzania, Fiji, and Peru, to name a few.
Overall, fun was had for all, and there was consensus that it was the best night that anyone had experienced before.