This morning we said goodbye to some of our group who are off to tackle the Inca Trail . We wish them luck on their 3 day hike to Machhu Picchu, where we will meet them at the Sun Gate. The remainder of the group visited Chichubamba community village 15 minutes walk from our hotel. Chichubamba combines two of Peru’s largest industries, agriculture and tourism. Many farmers in the rural zone confront obstacles while working to produce animal products and plants to meet the basic needs of themselves and their families. An organisation called ProPeru set up a program to help generate extra income for families by expanding their diversity of their products and services. The families have set up farmstay as well as educational workshops such as weaving, pottery, chocolate making and bee harvesting. This project is the first of its kind in the Sacred Valley and has been very successful in providing extra income to farmers. Today we visited 3 families – the first to see how chocolate is produced by one lady who has 2 young children. She learnt the craft from her mother and father who have a farm 2 days drive from her home. Her mother and father supply the chocolate pods to make the chocolate and sell to tourists and it was absolutely delicious. The second home we visited, the family are involved in making textiles which have played an important role in Andean society for hundreds of years. Textile systems developed in Peru over the millennia mostly remain unknown elsewhere because they are passed on by watching and practicing. We all had our turn at spinning the yarn and all failed miserably, so instead we purchased the finished product. The last family we visited we were presented with a delicious Andean meal of avocado (famous in Peru and some the size of a grapefruit) quinea and vegetable soup (quinea is a grain full of protein and used mainly in soups) and the last course was a vegetable dish with rice and potato followed by a delicious drink called chicha which is made from maize. A very healthy and filling feast. After lunch we were then presented with a demonstration of the art of make ceramics which has been present in Andean society for hundreds of years, again more purchases. The remainder of our afternoon was spent having a siesta.
Filed under: Adventure travel