All the students and volunteers here at AMAUTA Spanish School in Peru will soon have the chance to experience one of the most unique and interesting cultural festivals near Cusco. Because next week we plan a weekend tour to the festival of the Q´eswachaka Bridge. This is a big traditional celebration for the local Peruvian people of the local communities – with little tourists and a very authentic ambience – that takes place every second Sunday of June. This year on June 8, 2014, hundreds of people from local communities will come together to help reconstruct this rare Incan Bridge. Made out of a special grass called “q´oya”, this bridge is the only one of its kind left today in Peru.
The Q´eswachaka Bridge is located in the Canas province, over the Apurimac River at an altitude of 11,811 feet at a few hours distance of the city of Cusco. The bridge was first built in the 15th century and then later destroyed to detain Pizzaro, the Spanish conquistador, from entering into Cusco. Years later the bridge was rebuilt and since then renovated each year with the building techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. The name “Q’eswachaka” is made out of two Quechua words: “Q´eswa” in English means “to braid” and “Chaka” means “bridge”.
As the bridge is made from materials that quickly deteriorate – grass! – it must be repaired every year in order to maintain its current condition. As with most important events here in Cusco, it is made into a big, colorful celebration, with native dancing and later crossing the bridge once it is completed. During the Q´eswachaka weekend tour, AMAUTA students are also able to see four famous lakes and typical villages with artisan factories on Saturday, June 7th, 2014, the first day of the tour. The second day of the tour, they will participate in this intriguing festivity that is so important to local communities. It is a unique experience that only takes place once a year. Do not miss the opportunity to experience it for yourself and to be immersed in Peruvian culture during an amazing, colorful weekend in Peru during your Spanish courses in Cusco.
Want to visit the Qeswachaka Bridge but not in Cusco during that particular weekend? Never mind, our travel partner Dos Manos Peru organizes tours to Q’eswachaka throughout the year.
You will miss the yearly restauration but Q’eswachaka is still an amazing site to visit.