Other Side of Pisaq

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February 16th 2009
Published: February 16th 2009
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Water channelWater channelWater channel

Wow! Who created this dramatic walkway? And what is the meaning of this snake fountain?
This blog is about the non-tourist parts of Pisaq. I took photos that suit the geography classroom. I am curious about the quality of life of the people who live in these communities. The Sacred Valley is a hotspot for tourists around the world. The Peruvian government or the people who own LAN airplanes and PeruRail are charging premium rates to transport tourist to and from MachuPicchu. They are making a lot of profit. To support the demands of tourists from Europe and North America infrastructure has been built and services established, e.g. hotels with hot showers, five star restaurants, airconditioned buses, good roads, bank machines, tourist markets. I wonder how the people in the community feel about the injection of such things? If they benefit from it, e.g. good roads, then they will be happy. If they feel excluded, i.e. the too high price of the tourist train, they might feel resentful. I would.
Walking along the streets, I wish there was a sign I could wear on my clothes that would identify me as not one of the two-week, lots of cash, eager to pay for entertainment-kind-of-tourist.
I wonder how much of the profit from tourism trickles down to
Stream and water pipeStream and water pipeStream and water pipe

There must be a lot of water going through the village certain times of the year. I wonder who designed the paved roads and why? for tourists or locals?
the ordinary people of Peru?
Yesterday I walked around Pisaq and saw some of the nicest urban street infrastructure that I have seen; the streets near the market were beautifully drained. Yet above the village, in a stream, I saw a woman wash the family laundry. Most of the housing seemed to be from the past, and with the chickens, dogs and pigs in the village, there was a sense that most people lived a peasant life. By that I mean that they consumed very little power and did not create carbon emissions the way that North Americans do. From the outside, the village looks peaceful, but I wonder if the teenagers in jeans carrying cell phones are happy here?
Garbage disposal was archaic, and it renewed my decision to drink bottle water. I wish the Peruvian government would put some of the profit from tourism into water and sewage systems in the rural communities, and create sustainable garbage removal. I wish there was a program to neuter dogs and shelter the ones on the street. As a visiter who walks off the beaten track, I can only observe infrastructure and services and hope that my tourist dollar eventually improves
Stone designStone designStone design

Besides the thin water channels in the roads, there were various designs in the stone.
life for the locals.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Near MarketNear Market
Near Market

These unique roads were beside the tourist market area. Do they make enough money that the town can invest in superior lanes? or are the lanes part of the tourist attractions?
Look downLook down
Look down

I wasn´t the only tourist walking around the other parts of town. I wonder if the lanes are advertised in tour books?

The elabourate lanes contradicted with the poverty in the village. I gave the starving puppy my cheese sandwich.

This is the regular dusty road surrounding the tourist centre. Note the tour bus delivering tourists to the restaurant.

I walked to the river and saw these pigs.

This is how the town disposes of its garbage, organics and plastics. While sitting on wall I watched a builder throw a bag of garbage past the pigs and into the river.
River gardenRiver garden
River garden

If they didn´t toss over plastics and non-organics, the pigs and the plots of gardens are sustainable ways to use the land beside the river

There were new building going up beside the river. I think they were planning an art centre

The new buildings are empty. I wonder how long they have been built?

This seemed to be a suburb of Pisaq

I saw fields of corn and vegetables, and lots of livestock. I wonder if the people are well fed. Some dogs are, some not.
Towards marketTowards market
Towards market

This is the street beside the bus stop. There are nice bathrooms at the stop, but you pay for the paper.

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