From the series “Conversations with a Tour Guide”
It is great to have you back, I’m glad to see the interest of many on todays topic which was requested on our Live series on Instagram. Actually, this is one of my favorite themes to talk about , understanding live in the country side , specially in my country, is a great way to learn about the true PERU, it’s history and culture.
Another reason why I like this theme is because I’ve been missing traveling a lot, remembering this experience brings back to my mind so many good moments, the beauty of the Andes and the faces of friends and friendly people.
My last time visiting an Andean community was back in early 2019, I traveled then working as a tour leader for a group of students. It was for all that group their first time visiting a community in the Andes. I this occasion they were not able to sleep in the community (I was able to do so with other tour groups before) but even thought they learned a lot. Day spend a full day in a complete different environment than the one they were used to, and they loved it!
This is the list of the activities we had:
- We arrived to San Pedro de Raqchi community and were welcomed by their authorities.
- We visited the nearby archaeological site of Raqchi, pride of their people.
- We visited the local school (kindergarten and first grades) and shared with the teachers and students.
- Went to see the plantation fields to learn about the local crops
- Then we headed to the community and where invited to visit some of the houses of volunteer families. We learned a lot from that.
- We where invited to have lunch at the house of one of the authorities of the community. Among some this we had quinoa soup and guinea pig.
- We where invited to a pottery class Raqchi style.
- Has time to rest in some of the houses where we were offered sleep at some of the bedrooms to have “siesta” time.
- We took park of a ceremony to thanks Pachamama and a blessing ceremony for the group guided by an authority of the community dressed up in local fashion.
- had a fiesta! Local party with live music.
- Had dinner and farewell from the families of Raqchi.
The group handled really well all the new experiences and things they were seeing ( I was a bit worried about the cultural shock because most of the people in the group were quite young) surprisingly they got along very well with the activities and people, and were very impressed by the simple live in the mountains and the beauty of it.
The day went fast in the community, but this part of the trip turned into one of the most important memories of the whole PERU trip for the group, for sure.
I invite you to visit the following articles le learn more about life in the Andes, thanks so much for reading and contact me for questions or more info about this experience.
*The ceremony of the marriage of the Alpacas, Patacancha – Cusco
*Communal work in the Andes of Peru