Yesterday, in the city of Cuzco, a gathering of tour guides was carried out. It was held at the Tika Tika arch where a group of some 12 persons gathered. The Institute of Culture organized the gathering to promote and give value to the Qhapaq Ñan, the Inca Highway in its Chinchaysuyo extension.
The city of Cusco is the center of the Inca Empire. From its main square, its Plaza de Armas, extend outwards a network of roads perfected by the Incas. The Qhapaq Ñan had the objective of unifying the diverse people of Tawantinsuyo, the Inca Domain.
Today, the National Institute of Culture is carrying out projects of cleaning and restoration of this important part of our national patrimony, our heritage.
The anthropologist responsible for the zone welcomed us and took us to see the work being carried out, on either side of the arch, in the zones of Poroy and Cusco.
If you leaving the arch and walk some 10 meters into the zone of Cusco you can see the INC workers who with this pick axes and shovels are cleaning and bringing to light the ancient roadbed.
The anthropologist told us, “this zone, before the workers came, was a garbage dump. We had to remove a great quantity of dirt and waste, up to three meters worth. We had to dig with machinery, carefully in order to not damage the remains. Today you can appreciate clearly that the arch was one an important point of entry and exit to and from the city, between it and Chinchaysuyo.
“Even though much more work remains to be done, we have a great beginning”, said the anthropologist. “With the passage of years the city’s population has grown and people build their homes on top of the Inca highway. Even Peru Rail’s train line goes over the Qhapaq Ñan. We hope to count with the support of the tour guides who can bring groups of tourists to learn about and see this important part of our history and the Empire.”
We returned to Tika Tika and from there we walked some 5 meters further to appreciate their work in the Poroy zone. The air was filled with dust from the machinery that was working. From that point you could see the beautiful view of Apu Salcantay, the great mountain guardian of Cusco. You could also see all the homes of the neighborhoods and population that has grown without order.
The anthropologist concluded by saying that the work that is being realized is to give value and restore the Qhapaq Ñan road in the Chinchaysuyo zone. The idea is that this stretch be maintained for people to circulate by it and also to develop a new tourist path.
In Cusco we are part of a living culture that is alive. We must care for it and give value to the remains that unite our culture and, in that way, open accessibility for people to learn more.