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.
Posts Tagged ‘Cusco’
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…
An email from some good folks in Sunapee NH
Bill and I just returned yesterday from an amazing trip to Ecuador (Galapagos Islands) and Peru (Lima, Cuzco, Machu Pichu). Our tour group was treated to a performance by Chimu Inka at a local restaurant in Cuzco for our farewell lunch…we thoroughly enjoyed their music.
I purchased their CD but didn’t open it until we were back at our hotel. Little did I know I’d see Sunapee, NH on the inside cover…the name Dexter didn’t ring a bell, but I suspected it was you as I recalled your last name. Sure enough, I called Carol and she confirmed it. Wish I’d opened the case while at the restaurant. Our tour guide was an amazing guy, born and raised in Cuzco, G. Walter Rodriguez, in case you might know him.
They had a group of 4 dancers performing with them…I was privileged to be pulled into the dance with one of the guys…it wasn’t easy at that altitude! But what a great memory! It was exciting to have that connection and a great memory of our trip.
Thanks for your email, and great to read your story! I do remember you both, and was thrilled to read of your experience in La Ratama restaurant with Chimu Inka. Yes…too bad you didn’t know about the connection while you were there, as the band would have loved to know that you’re from Sunapee, and would have given you a real local connection. They are like family to me. (more…)
Dr. Andrea Heckman an expert on Quechua weavings, will show a documentary film at the South American Explorers Club in Cusco, Peru on Thursday June 10th at 7 p.m. The film tells the story of Quechua villagers near the sacred peak of Ausangate.
Set against a backdrop of high Andean lakes and mountains, it shows a harsh existence but also a deep interconnectedness with the natural forces and their ritual relationships to the mountain, revealed in various festivals, weaving and other traditions.
If you’re in Cusco, and want see the film, contact the SAE in Cusco.
Peru’s Inca History Rich with Experiential Education: At least from what we see at current Inti Raymi Festival
Every year on June 24 Cusco celebrates the festival of Inti Raymi at the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman.
This festival was celebrated by the Incas as the Festival of the Sun in honor of the God of the Sun: Wiracocha. The Inti Raymi symbolizes the eternal consecration of marriage between the Sun and human beings. The festival is
now the second largest festival in Latin America with an expected 200,000 people visiting Cusco.
But from an educator’s eye, there is more going on than just a festival. Groups of students from all over Peru but especially from the Quechua speaking, and Inca origins, come to participate in experiential tests of courage and craftsmanship. It is a wonderful and proud event in which to participate,
where young from come to throw, climb and balance, all the while, with elders looking on. The sense of pride and community at the Inti Raymi is palpable.
When I first attended some 12 years ago, it had not been so big. So be it. The
festival is popular and deservedly so, not only for the sense of history of the Inca, and Quechua heritage, but to see teens competing, representing their communities, here at this historical place, Sacsayhuaman.
Images: R. Richards, Mountain Spirit Institute
Mountain Spirit Institute has been running programs in Peru since the late 1990’s that focus on experientially learning and giving back to the people of the Andean villages we encounter. We pride ourselves in staying off the beaten path. See our website at www.mtnspirit.org for more information. MSI is a non-profit educational organization.
Handwoven Fabrics: Living History
Handwoven fabrics are the living history and cultural treasure of the Peruvian Highlands. The weavers who create these extraordinary textiles are the keepers of the culture and sustainers of a noble but difficult lifestyle in tune with the earth. This book, Weaving in the Peruvian Andes celebrates their authentic, well-crafted work by showing varied and distinctive styles of traditional clothing, the basics of how fabric is created from spinning to dyeing to weaving, the way traditional crafts are passed from one generation to another, the names and meaning of the myriad textile designs that reflect the culture and history of the people, and the rituals and celebrations in which woven fabrics play such an important role.
Author Nilda Callañaupa Alverez is founder and director of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. She has established weaving associations through the Andean highlands to preserve a tradition of handmade textiles and to promote economic development. She lives in Cusco and in her native community of Chinchereo, Peru.
All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Center of Traditional Textiles of Cusco.
Mountain Spirit Institute focuses on weaving during our educational programs in Peru. Learn more at www.mtnspirit.org
Duke Student Plans for Film Making Project in Peru on Traditional Folklore Music
By D.R. Richards
Avery Berkowitz will be sponsored by Mountain Spirit Institute should his application for a Fulbright Scholarship be accepted this spring. Berkowitz approached MSI in February to see if we were interested in providing contacts, support, and in-country affiliation for his film project, a documentary on traditional folklore music in Peru. The film will cover, not only the music, but the lives of the performers, as well as the impact the music has on audiences and the culture.
Guillermo Seminario, the muscial director of Chimu Inka, co-facilitator on MSI programs in the Cusco region, and key member on the Peru/USA Music Exchange in the U.S. will also provide support on the ground in Cusco. The exposure could also be good for Chimu Inka, who, although are superb musicians, deserve to have their music and story told more than is presently happening for them. Any film coverage of their story would be beneficial.
Berkowitz is a student at Duke, and if accepted for the Fulbright, plans to head to Peru either in the summer of 2010 or 2011. We look forward to doing what we can to support Avery and wish him the best with his application.
Mountain Spirit Institute announces June 18th Holistic Learning Program in Peru
By R. Richards
Mountain Spirit first started leading programs to Peru in 1998. I guided high altitude mountains for Alpine Ascents International, such as Mt. Huascaran in Peru, Aconcagua in Argentina and other volcanoes in Ecuador prior to that for a number of years , but then decided holistic experiential education was more for me.
Readers may have heard of the term “nature deficit disorder”, coined by Richard Louv in his book, Last Child in the Woods. MSI also addresses “cultural deficit disorder” by taking people to Peru. We were doing Peru before it was fashionable, and know the country well. We focus on education, service, hiking, music and mountains. We’ll be headed to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, and Lake Titicaca.
Our program is limited to 8 participants and will start on June 18th and last for 14 days. We will be staying with long time friends and educational partners. Our logistics is well organized after leading many trips to Peru.
Description of Curriculum:
MSI’s Cultural immersion focuses on learning rather than touristing, giving back through service, hiking in the Andes, weaving, agriculture, community building, learning music, language and indigenous shamanism and socioeconomic issues. Some hotels and lodges, but also family stays and off-the-beaten track. Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Cusco. Oh, and great time too.
Testimonials from two Peru’09 particpants:
Thank you for a wonderful time in Peru!! You offered us such a diverse opportunity to really connect with the people, customs and languages. Your continued kindness, constant patience and
positive attitude really helped. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for a job well done, an unforgettable time..
Peru 2009 Cultural Immersion
I liked meeting the real people of Peru. Randy’s example of energetic interaction with the people worked well and set a good tone for the program.
Peru 2009 Cultural Immersion
Stay tuned for more posts about more details, and what we’ll be doing on this year’s 2010 Cultural Immersion Program in Peru. We hope you’ll consider joining us for a learning of a lifetime. See our detailed itinerary. Learn more about who’s leading the program. Also see posts on Peru to the right.
“Vacations with a Purpose” Cover Story writes about Mountain Spirit Institute’s work in NZ/Peru
“To Travel is to Explore, Dream, Discover”
An article recently appeared in New Hampshire’s Kearsarge Magazine about Mountain Spirit Institute by writer Deb McKew. It can be read on our Press Clips Webpage, as an excerpt from the magazine. Click on the first listing at the top of the page. We encourage you to purchase this good read of a magazine if you’re in the New Hampshire, USA area. Publisher Laura Jean Whitcomb does a great job with the magazine.
The article has a shot of MSI founder R. Richards doing a bit of ice climbing on a glacier in Mt. Aspiring National Park, and covered Mountain Spirit’s core mission of getting people connected “with themselves, each other and the environment”, where we “combine experiential wilderness programs with spiritual development”.
As the article states, “some programs are solely wilderness based while others are workshop based.”
The article informs readers of the educational programs and unique nature of MSI mission of getting people out of their native countries and into the mountains and cultures abroad. Being a non-profit organization, MSI strives to bring people of different backgrounds and countries together, to learn about new ways to work together, and to re-examine one’s role in the natural environment, and in the world community.
Blowing into a Zampoña at 11,000 feet can have dizzying affects
By Randy Richards
On our recent Peru’09 Program participants had the opportunity to learn how to make Zampoñas and how to play them. Facilitator Guillermo Seminaro first helped participants adjust and shave down bamboo tubes, then put them together to make the Zampoña. That day, (and for the rest of the trip) he taught them some traditional Peruvian folklore songs.
All loved the experienced. S Smith really got into, not only the zampoña, but the charango as well. Here he is, at left, shown after the results of high altitude zampoña playing. Beginners have a hard enough time not getting dizzy at sea level. Here you can see the thin Cusco air, and the zampoña got the better of him. He recovered just fine, without incident. As you can see there’s a smile on his face.