Tuesday, January 23, 2018



Dear friends and colleagues:


We are just two months away from the XXXVII Symposium of the ISDP in Lima, the detailed program of which is now available online at  Everything is ready, and we are looking forward to hosting you!


Peru is a magical place. Peruvian cultures in the pre-Inca period date back as far as 1500 BC.  Caral, the capital of one of those cultures, is close to Lima.   If this is your first visit to Peru or you have missed these sites on a previous visit, I recommend going to Cuzco and the Coricancha ("the Inca Temple of the Sun"). When the late Dr. A. Bernard Ackerman visited, we went together to Cusco and Machu Picchu.  A powerful spirit himself, he became enchanted with the city; realizing its empire quality and amazing architecture.


I am excited to share the wonders of this destination with all of you, those already planning to attend as well as those still undecided.  The Inca Empire as such (1438 BC – 1532 AC) extended north and south from Colombia to Chile, bounded on the east by the Amazon green forest (the largest in the world), and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.


Picture Madrid, London and Vienna as Imperial cities, and the Secret City Beijing as an ancient sacred imperial city, then envision Cusco as the “navel of the world” for the Incas; not only geographically, but also anatomically, where we humans originated. The Inca world started in Cusco, as experienced by walking the streets of this city.  At first glance, you will see Spanish construction, beautiful churches, marvelous mansions, precious squares. But then look beyond these structures and view the imperial city, the astonishing Inca walls, stone blocks precisely engaged to each other in ways impossible to do unless master craftsmen.  See the beautiful water canals still preserved, and the whole design of the city in the shape of a Puma lion, where the head is Sacsayhuaman, (a religion complex in the upper part of the valley), the main square corresponding to the belly of the Puma, and the posterior the Coricancha - the place to see the synthesis of two cities, one on top of each other.


Outside the Coricancha, you will see a magnificent church, Santo Domingo. The Spanish conquerors thought they were clever, because they overlapped their own religious centers on top of the Inca sacred places, the most important being the Coricancha.  But as soon as you enter the cloister in Coricancha, you will see what an earthquake uncovered - magnificent pavilions, each representing Gods, all masterpieces of Inca architecture, that were buried under the catholic building until uncovered by the forces of nature. This was the religious center of the Inca world, and indeed a sacred place, where only the Inca and the highest ranked religious officers were allowed to enter.  Standing between these walls, you will feel the force of the empire. As Machu Picchu is all about magic and spirituality, Coricancha and Cusco are all about power.


I believe that the XXXVII Symposium of the ISDP in Lima will be an unforgettable dermatological experience, while including a visit to Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Coricancha, will highlight what a vast and multicultural world we live in, and what forces that have forged history.


Best wishes and a safe trip!


Francisco Bravo
XXXVII Symposium ISDP Lima 2016