Social responsibility projects

PROJECT “RURAL COMMUNITY TOURISM” AND “HABITANT’S HOUSE” - Q'ESWACHAKA

Community Rural Tourism is any tourist activity that takes place in the rural environment, in a planned and sustainable manner, based on the participation of local habitants organized for the benefit of the community. This project is focuses on the "Development of a competitive and sustainable tourism offer", as a strategy for the fight against poverty. By which we want to encourage the habitants to keep their traditions, customs and their original way of life. The “Casa Habitante” project aims to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants through experienced-based tourism and crafts, where the inhabitants will participate in these activities.

Community rural tourism is part of the UN-2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the UN-2016 sustainable development goals, which include:

  • End poverty in all its forms.
  • Guarantee a healthy life and promote well-being for everyone no matter his or her age.
  • Guarantee an inclusive, equitable and quality education; promoting lifelong learning opportunities for the habitants.
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work.
  • Develop sustainable, reliable and quality infrastructures to support economic development and human well-being.

ACTIVITIES WITH THE FAMILIES

The “Patronato de Machu Picchu” has encouraged this activity in the communities that perform the celebration of the Inca Bridge of Q’eswachaka, having since 2015 the service of lodging in the house of the inhabitant. Which includes:

  • Walk to the bridge
  • Offering to the Pachamama (Mother Earth)
  • Natural fiber recreation workshop of the bridge
  • Typical cuisine workshop in the area
  • Presentation of typical clothing and crafts

CELEBRATION OF THE INCA BRIDGE OF Q'ESWACHAKA

"The Spaniards, upon their arrival in the territory of Tawantinsuyo, were amazed and surprised to find themselves facing a vast network of Inca roads and within them the quality and variety of the bridges. Special mention deserved the suspension bridges made of vegetable fiber or straw that caused not only admiration but also recognition of the technology used. This admiration caused that chronicler and travelers describe with enthusiasm the Inca work of the hanging bridges of straw. The admirable thing is that the tradition has maintained this ancient technology together with its rituals and the system of community work that make it possible for us to have the honor of witnessing it, the validity of the intangible culture of the Incas after more than 500 years, until the present". The Inca Bridge is located in the rural community of Huinchiri, in the district of Quehue, province of Canas, Cusco Region.


FIRST DAY

This day begins with the offering in the middle of a ceremony in favor of the Apu (Sacred Mountain) Quinsallallawi. Meanwhile the four communities collect the main material qoya ichu in advance. It is in this activity that the Andean woman, who is in charge of knitting the first little rope or qheswa, actively participates. In the afternoon the males, divided into two groups, meet over both sides of the bridge and spread the ropes or queswas from end to end which are braided by the chakaruhac (Inca engineer) to build the qheswaska or The Great Braid

SECOND DAY

This day begins untying the old ropes that are tied to some stone nails, which will again tie the new braids. Once finished, they will start throwing the ropes from one end to the other. Twisting the ropes takes time, the same as tying the cables. Finally, the four thick ropes, which serve as the base, and the two rails or handrails are placed.

THIRD DAY

This day concludes with the assembly of the handrails and the surface of the bridge, which will serve to cross. Once finished, it begins with the opening of the bridge to the beat of music and typical dances of the area.

FESTIVITY

The festival of the relaunching of the Q'eswachaka Bridge takes place every year in the month of June, lasts three days of hard work, and concludes the fourth day with a beautiful festival of indigenous dances performed by the inhabitants of the four communities. Renewing Q'eswachaka physically involves replacing the super structure, revalue and show that there are still many traditions, techniques and ceremonies that have survived the years and shows that our culture is alive.

IMPROVED RURAL HOUSING PROJECT

The houses of the inhabitants are located in a radius of 30 and 40 kilometers in the outskirts of Cusco and others in the south of Peru. They live in towns that are located at altitudes of 3400 and 3900 masl; their main activities are agriculture, bullfighting and crafts; of which the most outstanding is the hand knitting. The other two communities inhabit the islands of Lake Titicaca, the activities they perform are similar to those already mentioned, but in this case, fishing is a supplementary resource. Since 2004, the Travel Agency Tierras de los Andes SAC elaborates a plan, jointly with the Culture Board Machu Picchu and the Andean communities. Which consists of being able to welcome visiting tourists in their homes and families, in the villages that are located on the heights of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the towns that are on the shores of the Titicaca Lake. To be able to offer today a simple but of quality service. Settlers committed themselves seriously. They knew how to build a trust that allows today to develop a type of tourism rooted cultural and natural values d and these regions. At the same time, the Andean inhabitants will be able to improve their living conditions thanks to the benefits given by tourism.

In addition, we want to contact other NGOs capable of sending volunteers to help in the renovation of houses and the viability of other projects of this kind, or in support of their daily activities, agriculture and education to young people. In the same way, it would be interesting to have resources in microcredit organizations for the purchase of construction materials.


PROJECT HISTORY

The “Casas Vivenciales” project with Andean settlers was promoted in 2004 on the initiative of the Tierras de los Andes Travel Agency in conjunction with the “Patronato de Machupicchu” and the wealthy communities with the desire to share their skills through tourism. To make viable the accommodation that, at the beginning , were very precarious, “Tierras de los Andes SAC” and the “Patronato de Machupicchu” agreed to support these 4 communities through the granting of oans for the renovation of their homes and the commitment to make them viable to host tourists . Likewise, each year, we provide training in these communities so that the inhabitants can respond to the demands of this new activity.

Rural Housing - Patabamba

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT

“Patronato de Machupicchu” today wishes to be able to direct specific circuits with a vision towards rural community tourism, adapted to all kinds of people and economies; either individually or in a group of people, through the path of volunteering. This responds to the needs expressed by the communities that long for the season to be full and for tourists to stay a little longer with the purpose of sharing more. Therefore, we would wait for the interest of numerous volunteers in the communities and the growth of demand. This, of course, will allow communities to improve their quality of life through this complementary activity. In no case, it is about ending their traditional activities carried out by the communities that constitute a large part of their identity (agriculture, pastoralism, crafting and the customs of the inhabitants).

FOR WHOM IS IT

For the last four years, these lodgings have received tourists who come from alternative trekking circuits. “Tierras de los Andes” is working with community tourism and wants to make its own specific circuits in the field of rural tourism. The NGOs were present in the villages of Chinchero, Huchuyqosqo and Patabamba (for the construction of hygienic services). At a national level, MINCETUR (ministry of foreign trade and tourism) encourages this new trend of tourism in Peru, through the realization of strategic plans, methodologies, promotion, and organizing of events with the association of those involved in the tourism sector.

PROBLEMS FOUND

The lack of means for the purchase of construction materials. The need for constant training to welcoming families in some fields. Due to lack of information to tourists about the necessary services, we received complaints, especially regarding the lack of hot water, which becomes somewhat uncomfortable for them.

NATIVE PLANTS BOTANICAL GARDEN PROJECT - ZURITE

Located in the Province of Anta, the district of Zurite, wonderful agricultural architecture, with platforms dimes, smaller Monumental ions, extension lines with embankments of more than three meters with two types of platforms, one purely agricultural and others with function of support. Currently, they use this place for the experimental station platforms where conservation work and improvement of Andean species is carried out.

It is a sample of the native flora with which it is intended to promote interest in the biodiversity of our region. Representing a place of tourist relaxation, as well as providing scientific and educational information.

Peru has a geographical location and special agro-ecological conditions. It has a variety of climates and microclimates, it contains 84 life zones of the 114 existing, it is part of the 12 countries most biological diversity of land (known as mega diverse countries), both the number of species and genetic resources as well as the variety of ecosystems. It is estimated that it has about 25,000 known plant species, with 17,144 species of flowering plants (Angiosperms and Gymnosperms), of which 5,354 are endemic species (31.23%)


Botanical garden

Zurite

MEDICINAL PLANTS

The use of medicinal plants in Peru is as old as our Andean culture. Many knowledge are rooted in the lore, however, excessive "modernization" of Western medicine has made these skills neglected forgotten. Within this context, the use of medicinal plants has been and will continue to be a preventive and curative alternative to health, but as every natural resource is subject to indiscriminate extraction by simple collection. The consumption will not be guaranteed as long as there are no standards that ensure health and quality.

TIPOS DE PLANTAS CULTIVADAS

Within the Main types of plants that grow in the Garden are:

  • Native Fruit Trees
  • Native Ornamentals
  • Native Medicines
  • Native Tubers

THE ETHNO-KNOWLEDGE

The ethno-knowledge is in close relationship with the existence of flora, because as long as there are plant resources there will be those who know, use and manage them. The destruction of forests and the exclusion of their plant diversity will have an effect comparable to the burning of libraries in the western world.

WHY?

At present, in the face of the loss of natural ecosystems, ex situ conservation seems as an alternative that, in addition to raising awareness and promoting the public interest in biodiversity, will generate information to guarantee conservation programs.

In Peru, there are 5000 varieties of plants with different purposes, of which 1044 medicinal species, 1608 ornamental, 134 dye species, 179 toxic species among others.