Peru to Build New International Cusco Airport Near Chinchero
Chinchero is a beautiful market town with a lot of Inca heritage in the Altoplano surrounding the Sacred Valley. There is a wonderful weaver's co-operative there, all sorts of traditional weaving.
A link to a photo of the Pampas and the farmer's fields near Chinchero. And the photo of the two of us below is from this same Pampas.
Today we learned that the governement of Peru is planning an international airport for Cusco, and planning to put it at Chinchero.
"Peru is going ahead with the construction of a high-volume airport at Cusco in southeastern Peru despite controversies over potential risks to the ecological treasures of Chinchero.
The existing airport's limited capacity has cost Peru key international airline links, including some with the United States.
Officials say the new airport will be bigger and better, able to handle high volumes of traffic in an area rich with tourist sites and a major foreign exchange earner for the country.
However, environmentalist groups warn the airport project will damage the Pampas of Chinchero, an ecological monument that is part of Peru's Incan heritage.
Chinchero Mayor Juan Carlos Gomez indicated the government was on track to begin construction of the airport next July. Current work includes acquisition of farm land required for the planned expansion of the facility."
The backing of the municipal authorities to the project is unanimous, even questioned the president of the Chamber of Tourism of the valley, Manolo Chavez, who was against the new air terminal in Chinchero.
Chavez says his opposition is because it affects the ecosystem of the people and the colonial and Inca composition of the peoples of the Sacred Valley."
What does the land want? What do the people want? Jobs may be there in the short term construction, but how will the fragile infrastructure of the Sacred Valley - the water, sewage, roads - stand up to a bigger influx of touristas? Machu Picchu already limits the number of people who can go there on a daily basis. Why not spend the money on upgrading these facilities, with input from the communities involved, not just listening to the president and the mayors?
Holding the beautiful Altiplano and pampas around Chinchero, the wonderful weavers, farmers and communities, in ayni.