Seeking Gold on Cuzco’s Southern Slopes

Some years ago the city of Cuzco was filled with mysteries and beliefs. People who lived in those times would tell many stories about the life that they lived. At the time Cuzco was not as populated as it is now. There were only houses in the center of the city while the hillsides were filled with trees and plants.

As time passed a few settlers were chosen to be able to buy land on the hillsides in the southern part of the city. The fathers of the Recoleta church were the ones who sold the land to these people so that they could build their homes. They sold large expanses of land with many hectares to them.

When they began to work their land in order to build homes, they found a surprise. On their lands were enormous wakas (sacred places, sacred ruins, and the sacred dead) from our Inca ancestors. As they dug for their foundations they found spectacular constructions of stone. Everyone built their houses on top of wakas. When they were in full possession of their homes they began to live on those lands. With the passage of days these people al began to work their lands.

Since they had found Inca constructions they hoped to find as well Inca treasures and maybe a fortune.
The days passed and everyone worked their land with pickaxes and shovels. It was hard work and they chewed coca and had a bottle of cañazo, distilled cane alcohol, at their sides. As they dug their goal was to find gold, earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces of gold and jewels. When they would find such things, they made payments to the Pachamama (the earth mother) for their good fortune.

A View of Cusco from the Tetecaca Huaca (Walter Coraza Morveli)
A View of Cusco from the Tetecaca Huaca (Walter Coraza Morveli)

These first inhabitants of what are now extensive suburbs would quietly and carefully let other people see their finds of archeological stones within their homes, so that the INC, the National Institute of Culture, would not find out. They would also speculate about their neighbors and the gold they might have discovered.

More time has passed and more people have come to live in the zone, many with the hope of finding something of gold.

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