We left at 6AM to head for the tiny village of Huertahuayco, near the town of Anta, where our group of small children was waiting for their adventure. As is typical in the remote Andean villages, introductions took on a formal air, though all very cheerful. Their much loved and respected school teacher, Albertina Cusihuaman Huallpa joined us, full of enthusiasm in supporting her students. They were all so excited to have this opportunity that Alpaca Expeditions offers each week through our Social Projects initiative, called “Cultural Sundays”, to different groups of locals who otherwise may never have the opportunity to visit the archaeological sites that have made their home country of Peru so famous. Our guide, William Farfan, took on a very important role that day, since it was he who introduced us to the amazing history of Cusco.
After a light breakfast to give us lots of energy, we went to the enigmatic Saqsaywaman complex, which not only impressed the children with its magnificent esplanade and massive stonework, but also due to the history that it kept within. Then we went to Q`enqo, where the children were filled with wonder as they took in every detail that was given to them by their guide, who told them fascinating stories and it was there that they felt that they relived some pretty interesting historical moments. The children had many good questions for their guide, who, of course, had all the answers! Then they spent a little time relaxing there – it is such a beautiful place!.
Next we all boarded the bus for the short ride to Puka Pukara, which means “Red Fort”, due to the color of the stone in which it was constructed. Our guide was very creative in enlisting the children’s interest and understanding of this archaeological center. Beautiful memories were made here for the children, who were brimming with enthusiasm for more, as we walked to our next site – Tambomachay. Here our group learned the value and history of this fascinating site, which is believed to have served as a Ceremonial Baths for the Inca. Our children were transported back in time and wanted to know every detail – they were so full of questions! One of the children, Diana Condori commented: “It is impossible to believe how the Incas made such great construction without architects or engineers! Nowadays we need them just to build a small house!” The children were left with no doubt that we have so many beautiful places to see and visit here in Cusco.