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Q\'eswachaka: An ancient bridge in the entrails of Cusco

18 August 2015

Suspended 50 meters above the Apurimac River in the canyon of the same name, Queshuachaca or Q'eswachaka is one of the oldest bridges braided ichu that exists in the country and integrates the Inca road system known as Nan Qhapac.

Its preservation is in charge of the Quechua communities Huinchiri, Quehue Chaupibanda and Pelcaro, located in the province of Canas, 110 km from the city of Cusco and more than 3,600 meters.

Each year, these villagers three days devoted to the collection, braided and placement of the bridge of 28.67 meters long, using ancient techniques.

Huamani Jesus Sosa, president of the community Chaupibanda, explained that this year the participation of the population was massive, despite the freezing whipping to Cusco. However, still they require more publicity, because few tourists coming to appreciate the ceremony, which begins every second Sunday of June.

"It is worth visiting the Q'eswachaka it is the last bridge of its kind that survives to modernity and is almost in its original state after more than five centuries," said Carmen Arróspide Poblete, the Board of Culture Machu, who five years ago he drove its declaration as a National Intangible Heritage of the Nation.

The December 6, 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco, for its acronym in English) included the bridge on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage Patrimohio.

To date, Peru has registered six items on this list, plus the twisted bridge: oral traditions and cultural manifestations of the people Zápara (enrolled together with Ecuador), in 2008; Taquile textile art, in 2008; Dance scissors, in 2010; Huaconada, ritual dance of Mito, in 2010; the pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Lord of Qoyllurit'i, in 2011; and the Feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria in Puno, in 2015.

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