Joaquín Randall, owner of El Albergue in Ollantaytambo, shares, in the recent video, the latest developments evolving around experiential educational stays, sustainability, organics and cultural sensitivity at his lodge in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Mountain Spirit collaborated a bit with Sr. Randall some years ago, so we can recommend a stay at El Albergue. Keep up the good Joaquin.
Archive for the ‘South America’ Category
The United States government on Thursday returned to Peru 14 pre-Columbian and colonial art pieces that had been stolen or looted, according to Radio Programas. “These pieces of art that have been recovered are part of our cultural legacy as a nation but, of course, they belong to all of humanity,” said Harold Forsyth, Peru’s ambassador to Washington D.C.
The objects include nine Cusco-school religious paintings, from the 17th and 18th centuries, that came from Peru’s southern Cusco region, a whistling pot from the, Read the rest of this story…
Downtown in The Lost Cities of the Amazon
by Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES ·
By Nicholas Asheshov
Some weeks ago two events, one of them startling, came together to pin-point the mysterious new conundrum of the Amazon. The first was the appearance on a busy riverbank in the Madre de Dios of a few dozen members of a previously-isolated group of Indians. They killed someone who had been trying to help them. The naked Indians, seen on TV screens around the world, were described by anthropologists as descendants of an unbroken line of hunting and gathering savages, living fossils of our neolithic past.
This is, according to new Amazon thinking, incorrect. These Indians are the sad, socially degenerated remnants of nations and tribes that were productive, sophisticated and stable just a few centuries ago.The other event was an article in The New York Times that reported on the discovery in Acre, only a few hours travel from the Madre de Dios Indians, of extensive, deep straight, or sometimes circular, trenches, ridges and mounds dating back to pre-Columbian times, indicating a large, well-developed society. This was just the latest evidence that the Amazon, or at least parts of it, was heavily populated by well-organized societies in much the same way as the high Andes were remodelled by the Tiahuanuco, the Chavin, the Chachapoyas, the Huari, and the Incas.
Over the past couple of decades the pre-history of the Americas has been revolutionized, setting off poison-tipped academic and ecological vendettas. First of all, the Americas were populated much earlier, at least 33-35,000 years ago, double the time previously calculated. That is back to Neanderthal epochs.
Second, there were many more people here when Columbus arrived than was earlier thought. And, most important, the societies and nations of the Americas were much more sophisticated and structured than was previously understood. They were agriculturalists, not the war-whoopers of the movies. Their mode of life and agriculture had massive, long-term effects on the original pre-human forests. Fire was a basic control mechanism.
Today the evidence of genetics, linguistics and archaeology is clear that the Amazon was not just an impenetrable green hell populated by primitive hunters and fishermen eking out an unchanging, culturally marginal existence. The same applies to North America. Here most of the descriptions of primitive Indians come from 18th and 19th century travelers who were seeing only the sorry leftovers of great nations that had been obliterated by smallpox, viral hepatitis, influenza and other European and African diseases. The Conquest set off the Dark Ages in the Americas. read the rest of this story…
Survival International Releases Photos Of Uncontacted Tribe
From: Andean Air Mail and Peruvian Times
Survival International, the London-based indigenous rights group, has released up-close pictures of a family of the uncontacted Mashco-Piro tribe, known to live in the Manu National Park in in the Amazonian basin in south-east Peru.
The Mashco-Piro are one of about 100 uncontacted tribes in the world, according to Survival. “Today’s photos are the most detailed sightings of uncontacted Indians ever recorded on camera,” Survival says.
Survival says sightings of the Mashco-Piro have increased in recent months. “Many blame illegal logging in and around the park and low flying helicopters from nearby oil and gas projects, for forcibly displacing the Indians from their forest homes,” Survival says.
“But the danger of contacting tribes who choose to remain isolated was reaffirmed by the recent death of an indigenous Matsigenka man,” Survival says. Nicolas “Shaco” Flores had left food and gifts for the Mashco-Piro for some 20 years. However, he was recently killed by one of the tribe’s arrows. “In this tragic incident, the Mashco-Piro have once again expressed their adamant desire to be left alone,” wrote Glenn Shepard, an anthropologist and friend of Flores.
Shephard says in a post on his blog that the Mascho-Piro are likely descendants of the Mashcos people, who in the late 19th century were “massacred and displaced” by Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald. “Surviving Mashcos, including a group speaking a language similar to Piro—hence ‘Mashco-Piro’—abandoned their gardens and fled to the forest, subsisting on game and fruits and vigorously avoiding all contact with outsiders since then,” explains Shephard.
“First contact is always dangerous and frequently fatal – both for the tribe and those attempting to contact them,” says Stephen Corry, Survival’s director. “The Indians’ wish to be left alone should be respected.” Anthropologist Beatriz Huertas says authorities need to implement preventative measures to avoid similar incidents in the future. “Contact could happen at any time,” Huertas was reported as saying.
Copper and gold mine project in Peru suspended in face of protests
LIMA, PERU, AND BOGOTA, COLOMBIA — Faced with increasingly violent local opposition, the developers of the giant Conga gold and copper mine in northern Peru suspended the project late Tuesday night, saying they were bowing to a demand from the government of President Ollanta Humala.
Much of the northern district of Cajamarca has been paralyzed the last six days by general strikes called by Conga opponents that closed businesses and schools. Residents were concerned that the massive gold and copper mine could pollute the region’s water supply, a charge the mine’s operators, led by Colorado-based Newmont Mining, strenuously denied.
The situation became more violent Tuesday, as protesters burned an office at the site of the proposed mine and clashes between protesters and police in the area left 17 injured and two arrested. Thousands of demonstrators massed in the central square of Cajamarca, the region’s largest city.
As proposed, Conga would be a giant open pit gold mine similar to the Yanacocha mine 20 miles to the north, which is also operated by Newmont. But it would include a copper mine and smelter.
Newmont has proposed investing $4 billion in the new project, which could produce between 580,000 and 680,000 ounces of gold a year. The government had projected it would receive royalties and taxes totaling $800 million annually once the mine was fully operational after 2014, income the left-leaning Humala government was counting on to finance social and infrastructure project. Read the rest of this story..
I took my first clients to Peru, on our first program ever for Mountain Spirit Institute in 1998. Who would have thought there would be the numbers at Machu Picchu that there are now. Who would have imagined the wholesale tour companies, that have transformed sleepy little islands such as Amantani, could change things so much. Being there in ’98 was sure different that it is today. It was right after the Shining Path and been put down. Back then, one didn’t need guides to do the Inca Trail, and the prices were affordable. So what to do? Hmmm. I love Peru, but I think we’ll have to go more into the bush, back beyond the hordes, shy away from the beaten path, or “Gringo Hiway” as they call it. There is much to see in Peru and like any popular place, go an hour or two off the beaten path, and you’re in “no-man’s land”. Also, see my post on Amantani in this blog.
R. Richards, Editor
One Million Tourists Visit Machu Picchu in 2011
by Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES
The ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, uncovered from overgrowth and obscurity 100 years ago by U.S. explorer Hiram Bingham, will have received at least one million tourists by the end of this year, according to Percy Canales, president of the National Chamber of Tourism, Canatur.
The number of visitors represents a 30 percent hike over last year — when 660,000 people visited the site— and is undoubtedly due in part to the mass promotional campaign surrounding the centennial. Of the total, 70 percent will have been foreign travelers and the remainder Peruvians, particularly school groups. The larger number of foreigners were visitors from the United States, Spain and Japan.
Canales said that the number of tourists was expected to increase read the rest of this story..
Gov’t Takes Measures to Protect the Uncontacted Mashco Piro People
By Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES
Peru’s government has said they are taking measures to protect an uncontacted tribe located in the south-east Amazon rainforest, nonprofit organization Survival International said in a press release.
“Government authorities in Peru have responded to Survival’s call to protect uncontacted Indians who have recently appeared on riverbanks near a popular tourist destination,” the organization said Wednesday.
The Indians are believed to be from the Mashco-Piro tribe in the Manu area. Tourists who visit the nearby national park have recently been leaving clothes on the riverbanks to “entice the Indians out of the forest,” Survival said.
The group has sent warnings to outsiders to stay out of their area. They recently hit a park ranger with an arrow with the tip removed as a warning sign, Survival said. “Uncontacted Indians lack immunity, Read the rest of this story..
Humala Signs Prior Consultation Law During Jungle Ceremony
by Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES
President Ollanta Humala enacted the prior consultation law on Tuesday during a ceremony in the north jungle town of Bagua.
The bill was unanimously approved by Congress and has been strongly supported by international and national rights organizations. It is intended to ensure that Peru’s local laws are in compliance with the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169.
The convention requires the State to consult indigenous people prior to adopting administrative and legislative measures, as well as investment projects and development plans, that could affect their communities.
“This law has the objective of [promoting] development for native peoples, of the Amazonian communities and the entire region,” Humala said. “That is the spirit of this law.”
“Today we have taken an important step in the construction of a nation, the construction of a republic,” Humala added.
Ex-President Alan Garcia rejected a similar prior consultation bill during his recent term, expressing worries that the legislation would provide veto powers to indigenous communities that could deter mining and energy projects.
Humala and members of his Gana Peru party have said the new law will help address the more than 200 social conflicts in Peru that have impacted projects in the extractive industries.
The president’s signing of the law in Bagua was a clear sign Read the rest of this post…
The Mapuche are an indigenous people living in central Chile. Their cultural center is the town of Temuco. This film was voted the People’s Choice on Culture Unplugged. To view the
From: Matt Primomo on FaceBook