Save the Stones of Cuzco

Great Inca Wall (Photo: Wayra)

Tired stone waited till strong hands carried them to higher ground. Maybe it was to build an important temple, or just a wall. They once were joined in something larger by those hands, even though time and weather have had their own way and now they lie separated. That is ok, but it is a tragedy when modern people hasten their separation and decay.

Stones even held back the earth so that it would not slide and cause a disaster. Our Incas were even turned into stones like those—according to traditions like the Ayar sisters and brothers story. Other stones turned into Incas to help them defeat enemies in their many endless battles.

These stones hold secrets. They have hidden passages that take us to the past of our Cuzco. Even when covered by dirt and weeds they wait to be found in order to tell their stories that we have not yet heard. They may even answer the many questions we ask today.

Stunning Inca Wall in Inca Roca Street, Cuzco (Photo: Wayra)
Stunning Inca Wall in Inca Roca Street, Cuzco (Photo: Wayra)

New generations, like mine and upcoming ones, cannot know anymore or even have an idea of how our Cuzco was, since uncaring persons—or maybe persons whose thoughts focus only on their own benefit, have marked our stones with spray paint.  They also damage our Inca stones with oil and other chemicals.

But that is not all. More than individual delinquents, construction projects are destroying our heritage. They destroy Inca walls to build glamorous hotels or even just ordinary houses. In the process, the give away Inca stones as if they belonged to the project managers and workers.

I feel indignant that our authorities give permission or turn a blind eye to these projects that compromise our heritage. They give away our culture on a silver tray.

Maybe they are controlled by someone with greater power, such as seems the case on Saphi Street. It will no longer be the same, even though it is within the Monumental core that is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, right off our main square, our Huacaypata.

Fans of Soccer Team Painted an Inca Wall in Maruri Street (Photo: Cusco Noticias)
Fans of Soccer Team Painted an Inca Wall in Maruri Street (Photo: Cusco Noticias)

Where is our National Institute of Culture that is supposed to take responsibility for protecting and preserving our heritage?  We will never be able to gain the knowledge we are lacking about our Cuzco. We cannot put these stones back as they originally were.

Many generations will come after me.  They will not only write about what has happened. They will take the chains off their hands and will say “enough”.

I was born here and this culture belongs to all of us by birthright.  Let us take care of it and respect it.  Only in this way will it survive so that future generations will also know it and value it.