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Rural Community Tourism and Habitant’s House – Q’eswachaka

Project Objectives:
  • 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.

The Rural Community Tourism is any tourist activity that takes place in rural areas, in a planned and sustainable manner, based on the participation of local population organized for the benefit of the community. This project is focused on the “Development of a competitive and sustainable tourism offer” as a strategy to fight against poverty. Through this project, it is intended to encourage the population to continue keeping their traditions, customs and original way of life. The objective of the local household project is to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants, through experiential tourism, where local people can show their way of life and sell their local crafts.

Rural Community tourism is framed within the UN-2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – 2016 (SDGs), which include:

  • End poverty in all its forms.
  • Guarantee a healthy life and promote well-being for everyone at all ages.
  • Guarantee an inclusive, equitable and quality education; promoting lifelong learning opportunities for the population.
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work.
  • Develop sustainable, reliable and quality infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being.

Activities with the families

The patronage of Machupicchu has encouraged this activity in the communities involved with the celebration of the Inca bridge of Q’eswachaka, having since 2015 the accommodation services at the inhabitant’s home. The services include:

  • 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

Celebration of the inca bridge of Q’eswachaka

“The Spaniards, upon their arrival in the Tawantinsuyo territory, were amazed and surprised to find themselves in front of a vast network of Inca roads and within them the quality and variety of the bridges. Suspension bridges made of vegetable fiber or straw deserved special mention, which caused not only admiration but also a well-deserved recognition of the technology used. This admiration caused that throughout history various chroniclers and travelers enthusiastically describe the Inca work of hanging straw bridges. The admirable thing is that the tradition has been maintained until the present, this ancient technology together with its rituals and the community work system, make it possible for us to observe after more than 500 years the validity of the immaterial culture of the Incas”. The Inca bridge is located in the peasant 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 relaunch of the Q’eswachaka bridge takes place every year in the month of June. It lasts three days of hard work and concludes on the fourth day with a beautiful festival of indigenous dances by the inhabitants of the four communities. The renovation of Q’eswachaka involves physically replacing the structure, reassessing and demonstrating that there are still many traditions, techniques and ceremonies that have survived over the years. Everything shows that our culture is still alive.