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Construction of a new airport threatens Peru’s Sacred Valley

  • News
  • 3 min read
Construction of a new airport threatens Peru’s Sacred Valley

Travel company Aracari connects people to incredible experiences in the Galapagos, Bolivia and Peru, celebrating the natural beauty of those destinations with respect for the local culture and environment. To help protect the history of one of their most popular destinations, Peru, Aracari is asking for support in stopping the construction of an international airport in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

A staggering 1.6 million people traveled to Peru’s most famous site, Machu Picchu, in 2018. Right now, the nearest airport to the site is the one in Cusco, but it’s a small, single-terminal airport. To keep up with the demand from tourists and longer-haul flights from places like Miami and Buenos Aires, Chinchero was selected as the site for a new airport.

Chinchero is a historic Inca town and the gateway to the Sacred Valley, once the centre of a civilisation running all the way from Argentina to Colombia. In spite of its rich heritage and the strain already present from tourism numbers that reach far beyond the limits Unesco recommends, construction of the new airport has already begun. But, there is still time to save the land.

“It breaks my heart to see one of the most monumental and gorgeous landscapes in the Andes being defaced in the name of progress,” says Aracari founder, Marisol Mosquera, in call to encourage people to sign the petition, asking the President of Peru to stop the degradation of 400 hectares of land to make way for the airport.

Beyond the area’s importance as farmland, concerns include low-flying planes over Ollantaytambo, a nearby archeological park, and damage to the watershed of Lake Piuray, a vital resource for the city of Cusco. In a video with CGTN America, Cusco anthropologist Pablo Del Valle said “It seems ironic and in a way contradictory that here, just 20 minutes from the Sacred Valley, the nucleus of the Inca culture, they want to build an airport—right on top of exactly what the tourists have come here to see.”

Watch the video below for more information, and click here to sign the petition.

Written by - Tara MacInnis

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