siusa community - program-
Type: Tourism, Experiential, Cultural and Natural
Sites to be visited: Pisac, San Salvador, Siusa Community
The community of Siusa is located in the Sacred Valley, 59 kms from the city of Cusco, about a 2 hour drive across land. The rural community of Siusa resides in the district of San Salvador, province of Calca, department of Cusco. It is made up of about 90 families, with over 350 children living in this community. Characterized by good organization, the community leaders have realized how various tourism projects can bring benefit to their members. Siusa has its own board of directors and was recognized officially by the State in 1947 as a community Ayllu. This Quechua word comes from the time of the Incas, and signifies a community that still maintains its culture and typical dress in our present times. According to the 2011 leader of the community, the name Siusa comes from the Quechua word Siusay- a word that refers to the ability in artwork to create textile projects (in this case baskets). This name was appointed by community ancestors because of their people’s expertise in crafting special baskets from certain plants called Huaranhuay and Lloque in the Quechua language.
Thanks to their organization, this community has well-constructed homes to receive tourists, foreigners and nationals.
With the help of the government and some ONG’s they can offer visitors a tourism experience similar to what is offered by the locals of theTaquile and Amantani Islands of Puno.
The community of Siusa offers tourism programs of 1 to 5 days with many activities to explore. They celebrate a large anniversary festival in the days of 20, 21 and 22 of December every year. When you visit Siusa, you are contributing to the development of this community; you will be well received by the residents, and will have quality time to share with
them, learning more about their people and culture. Every visit is an amazing experience.
DAY 1:CUSCO – PISAC – SAN SALVADOR – SIUSA (L)/(S)
Pick up from hotel in Cusco in the morning by private transport.
It’s about a 2 hour trip to the community of Siusa. Along the way we have a stop at a look-out over the town of Pisac to see the beautiful Sacred Valley below, the form of the Condor on the mountainside, and a site of the rock formation of Ñusta (a Quechua word that the Incas used for princesses).
There is an old legend about this princess, Inquill Chumpi, who was destined to marry a prince that could construct a bridge across the Wilcamayu River (Sacred Valley River). Bridge construction was very important at that time because
without access of escape the people there could easily be attacked. The difficulty of the task discouraged applicants, but one day a handsome Prince appeared and asked for the hand of the Princess, knowing that to deserve it meant meeting the challenge of the building of the bridge. So, the Prince began working while the Princess sat at the top of the hill waiting for him to arrive from the other side. But, like every fairytale, there is a dark twist: in this case a known warning that the princess could not watch the work, and if she were to look back to see the work the Prince was doing she would be forever turned to stone. The Prince performed the construction of the bridge with great success, but at dawn the Princess turned her gaze to see if the prince's work was finished. The dark warning was met and the Princess turned into stone, there remaining to this day.
We then continue in our trip, arriving to the district of San Salvador and then taking the route that takes us past a few other small mountain communities, with arrival to the higher community of Siusa where we are received with typical and traditional music of the area. Later, the people will provide all necessary meals, providing delicious meals using produce grown in the area (menus can be adapted for requests). Many of the community members involved have previously worked on the Inka Trail as guides, porters or chefs, and so understand how to attend well to
outside visitors, and with proper food handling and preparation. Many have also taken courses relating to tourism. The community is set up with about 80% of basic structuring providing running water and electricity.
Families will be designated to providing home-stays as programmed for each visitor. Later there will be time for visitors to see and take part in different activities.
SIUSA'S EXISTENTIAL TOURISM ACTIVITIES:
Siusa is devoted to agriculture where produce of first necessity for consumption isworked, such as: the potato, maize and various vegetables like pumpkin, squash, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, etc. You may participate in this type of work, with a close-up view of all the products produced here.
The women organize their daily work including working on beautiful weavings using alpaca and sheep wool. They also
obtain natural colors by working with the bases of plants and certain rocks. You will see the progression of and be able to try this skill of textile making.
A variety of foods will be prepared in different ways with produce of the area. Many of the community have long-time experience with the preparation of foods according to the visitor’s liking. If you are interested in the Pachamanca (an underground oven) or Cuy al Horno (baked guinea pig), you can also learn more about these traditional cooking
This community inherited the knowledge of medicinal plants from their ancestors, knowing very well each plant by name and their usefulness for different body ailments.
This community has a diversity of non-harmful wild animals around such as deer, vizcacha, foxes, skunks; and birds such as parrots, partridges, ducks, huallatas, condors, to name a few.
There are many places nearby for interesting walks including: lagoons located in the heights of the Andes, the forests of trees with one typical species called Chachacoma, a cemetery with a history of ancient-times battle between two peoples, hiking to see the wild animals, etc.
Your introduction to the community starts with a big welcome of music and dancing; typical dress is considered very significant to the people’s lives, and the textile work that contributes to the typical clothing can be unique for each family; special foods are prepared and served; your hostel-like accommodations are prepared with a flare of the local culture.
To visit this community one day would be very short; more days are recommended to get the most out of your tour. This is a place of nature, away from the daily city traffic and with the kindness of people that will give you a memorable stay.
If you are interested in visiting this community, want more information, or to connect with the leader of the Suisa, you may write us at:
WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING:
- A photocopy of your passport
- Sun block and repellant
- Shoes for hiking, everyday shoes, sandals
- Warm jacket
- Toque or hat
- Rain poncho
- Personal day backpack
- Camera, video camera
- Water bottle