The women and men of the high Andean communities have lived as llama and alpaca herders and traders for centuries, transporting foods and goods between the mountain and valleys in Cusco’s rainforest to the east.
Local people also developed a rich tradition of textile crafts, using expert native techniques, to create weavings of impressive beauty and deep symbolic significance.
Currently, these traditional activities, although still practiced, are at risk of disappearing due to the introduction of new modes of transportation and trade, and from continuing migration to cities and introduction of new technologies. To avert such negative trends, at Andean Lodges we work in close association with local communities. We follow internationally recognized guidelines for creating inclusive, sustainable and economically fair tourism practices. Our efforts are focused on protecting local natural resources, helping preserve the native cultural heritage, and offering local people jobs and opportunities for sustainable development that can preserve and complement their traditional ways of life.
By traveling with us, you help us to meet those goals and contribute to conserving native Andean culture and identity, and to maintaining living ancestral knowledge and practices.
Llama and alpaca herding
For centuries, Andean camelids have been used to transport goods in caravans between the traditional communities surrounding Ausangate. However, due to the introduction of modern modes of transportation, this ancient practice has diminished considerably and runs the risk of disappearing.
The partnership between the local communities of Chilca and Osefina and Andean Lodges has allowed for the renewal and rescue of this traditional livelihood. By utilizing llama caravans for transporting baggage and equipment on our treks, we make the journey easier and more comfortable for our travelers and create new jobs and economic opportunities for our partner communities.
Andean textile crafts
The weavers of Chillca and Osefina inherited an ancient textile tradition of advanced weaving techniques, unique for its deeply symbolic designs, and for captivating colors obtained from natural dyes produced from local plants, herbs and minerals.
Over the past few decades, the practice of textile weaving began to diminish, resulting in a gradual loss of native knowledge. At Andean Lodges, we work diligently to recover and promote such skills. We offer you the opportunity to experience this craft alongside the weavers, who share their knowledge, techniques and the history behind each weaving with our travelers.
You’ll be able to acquire unique handmade weavings directly from these talented artists in their towns, thus contributing to the development, preservation and sustainability of native Andean textile arts.