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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Update from Q’eros!

Our friend and guide Siwar Qente

 

Dear friends and family,

We have been receiving regular updates from the instructors via Satellite communication, and the Q’eros expedition is wrapping up well!  The students have been hiking between 2 and 8 hours a day between remote villages in the Q’eros territory, an ancestral Quechua homeland population by descendants of the Inca who settled in remote pockets of the Vilcanota mountain range during the Spanish conquest.  These communities lived virtually uncontacted in this isolated corner of the highest mountain chain in southern Peru until the 1970’s, and still preserve very traditional ways of life.

Yesterday the group participated in an animal sacrifice and feast in one of the villages, in which sheep and llamas are ceremoniously killed and the meat is then prepared in an underground oven of hot stones.  Students have been sharing small family huts with families, who are primarily Quechua speaking, in addition to lively soccer games each day.  Our dear friend and guide Siwar Qente, once the president of the Q’eros nation and a renowned spiritual leader, has been sharing meaningful talks and ceremonies with students about Q’eros worldview and the struggle for communities to maintain their way of live amidst encroaching influence from the outside world.

The group will wrap up their excursion tomorrow with a two hour hike out to a high pass, where transport will carry them back to the town of Ocongate.  From there they will continue on to the Amazon!

The team has very limited connectivity but we will send updates as we receive them!