February 27, 2024

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In Peru, Machu Picchu villagers feel abandoned

In Peru, Machu Picchu villagers feel abandoned

From Machu Picchu, in the Cusco region of southeastern Peru, we know that its majestic Inca city was built in the mid-15th century.e century, under the rule of the Inca Pachacutec. A site of immense beauty, set in luxuriant vegetation, on a rocky promontory between the Andes and the Amazon. Less known are the people who live there. A thousand small farmers spread over eighteen villages “Historical Sanctuary” 37,000 ha. At best, tourists guess at them through the windows of the train, the only mode of transportation that brings them to the city of Aguas Calientes, the last stop before boarding the Inca city.

Elizabeth Baca, head of the District's Social Security Front, calls for better redistribution of wealth on February 22, 2023.

These villages are increasing from mid-December 2022. After President Pedro Castillo was deposed and imprisoned on December 7, in support of a peasant revolt in favor of new elections. Roads around the regional capital Cusco were blocked. Machu Picchu was forced to close from January 21 to February 15. The strike, which lasted forty-five days, was one of the most bitter and protracted disputes in the district. National demands mingled with local demands.

“The money is not reaching us farmers who really need it for education, health, infrastructure etc. Elizabeth Baca, President of the District Community Advocate Front

Machu Picchu reopened four weeks after the strike ended today. For Elizabeth Baca, head of the District Social Security Front, the battle is lost: “We don’t have Nothing found. » Congress refuses to call fresh elections – from a national perspective – or not from a local perspective. But she knew that the struggle was a long one. “We have many offers”, Says the young woman who wants to see the development of homestay tourism.

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Agricultural communities, mostly Quechua, have been calling for better redistribution of tourist traffic for years. “Everyone believes that Machu Picchu is rich, but the truth is different. Drop Elizabeth Baca. The money does not reach us farmers who really need it for education, health, infrastructure etc. “A rich area with lots of poor people”, His brother Adolfo Baca sums up the tour guide. It is true that most of the villages in the district do not have the basic infrastructure demanded by the strikers.

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