My Quechua Experience

Before I studied the Quechua people in Peru, I did not have that much background knowledge of the group. My mom had a large fascination with the indigenous people of Peru, which was part of the reason I chose them for my project. I just thought of them as a group of people that lived in villages up in the mountain far away from large societies. I did not know really anything about them besides the fact that they lived in Peru and were indigenous to the area.

The single story of Quechua natives, which I would believe to be that they are mountain people that live a simpler life is just not true. They are much more evolved in the business world than we think. I just read an article that states that Peru is one of the countries with the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world due to the greater presence in small sized enterprises. That definitely goes beyond the single story of what most people think of the Quechua people especially Quechua women and I think that this can inspire women across the world.

I think tourism has a positive and negative impact on the culture. It is positive because tourism is the third largest industry in Peru. There is a lot of economic growth and prosperity that can come from all the cultural tourism to help build a stronger and more stable economy, which could help preserve, celebrate, and embrace their culture more strongly. The negative side of tourism is the promotion of the single story of the Quechua people from the traditional medicine angle. Traditional medicine and shamanism is part of their culture with ancient roots and adding a tourist component could potentially promote the single story of traditional medicine being solely ayahuasca retreats and ceremonies, which is not the case. People from outside of the culture may not respect traditional healers and their practices as relevant or constructive, however that is an ethnocentric thought because you cannot compare our western medicine to their traditional medicine. If tourists do want to participate in these priceless and life changing traditional healing practices, my hope is that they do not look at it as a menial fun experience but healing rooted in deep ancient culture from the Quechua perspective.

Since I was not able to truly immerse myself in the culture physically, I immersed myself in descriptive videos and articles while trying to understand their culture through their eyes and not my own. Specifically focusing on their festivals and celebrations and use of traditional medicine. I have grown up in a culture so different, that immersing myself as much as I could mentally has deepened my understanding of Others. Just because it is not the same does not make it wrong or bad. Being able to discover new ways to live with different lifestyles and cultures is so refreshing to know that there is not just one way or one story.

Creating and using a blog was a totally new experience for me. I was not internet savvy when it came to any type of posting on the internet. I discovered how to create a blog and use the tools in it such as how to post, change the layout, add hyperlinks, tags, and pictures. These tools helped me successfully complete the mini research project.


Quechua People through Pictures


Quechua workers on a plantation to transport the trunks of fallen trees using carts drawn by oxen taken in 1938.



A shaman calling the Apu mountain spirits to bless the the table and the sacred objects in his bag.



Some Quechua natives participating in in the religious festival of Candelaria.



Edgardo, S. (n.d.). Pirané Formosa Argentina cachapé [Photograph found in Flickr]. Retrieved March 1, 2017, from (Originally photographed 2010, November 4)

M., Savage. (n.d.). Peru – Day-hiking Ollantaytambo to Inti Punku Sun Gate 61 [Photograph found in Flickr, Ollantaitambo, Cusco, Peru]. Retrieved March 1, 2017, from (Originally photographed 2014, April 14)

Gallo, J. P. (n.d.). Baile Tinku [Photograph found in Flickr, Copiapo, Chile]. Retrieved March 1, 2017, from (Originally photographed 2008, February 3)


Native Festivals in Peru

Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria

Created on November 4, 2011

Uploaded by Darren Alff

Festival of the Virgin of Candelaria

This is a festival honoring the Virgin of Candelaria who is the patron saint of Puno, Peru, where this festival is held. It is one of the largest festivals of culture, music, and dancing in Peru and one of the largest festivals in South America. Puno is a lakeside city, and about 40,000 people congregate here for the week long festivities of dancing, music, drinking, food, and fun. This video gives you insight to all of that for a tourist, but unfortunately it is not in English.


The purpose of this video is to help people plan and prepare for their own tours of Peru by leading by example and sharing his own experiences.

Darren Alff is a bicyclist who started his company and website Bicycle Touring Pro since 2001. He has been travelling the world on his bike and teaches people through his own experience on how to create their own cultural touring adventures.

It is standard YouTube licensing and copyrighted to Bicycle Touring Pro

Alff, D. (2011, November 4). Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria – Puno, Peru. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from

The Pukllay Carnival-Promperu

Created on May 16, 2016

Uploaded by Alan Brian

The Pukllay Carnival

This video is about the Pukllay Carnival in Andahuayalas, Peru and is Quechua for “to play”. It shows the clothes, music, and dancing that is indigenous to the Quechua people. This national carnival video gives you some insight of what the festival would be like for tourists but it is not in English.

Purpose of this video was to be made for the Peru Export and Tourism Promotion board to promote the traditional Carnival of Pukllay.

Alan Brain is a filmmaker who has produced over 20 films on many different cultural topics.

This copyrighted 2016 All rights reserved to Promperu/Centurión Producciones

Brain, A. (2016, May 16). The Pukllay Carnival-Promperu. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from

Quechua Tourism: From the Internet to Traditional Healers

This article is about how traditional Quechua healers or Shamans are using this plant called “ayahuasca” which induces spiritual visons or vision quests for tourist use. Traditionally, ayahuasca was only taken by the Shaman or healer. The opening marketability for tourism is helping bring in extra income. The question that remains is the moral dilemma of if it is right to charge the tourists for these spiritual ceremonies, what will happen if these healers become too preoccupied with tourists to help their own village, and will the traditional and cultural use of ayahuasca remain?

The author, Rachel Proctor’s, credentials seem to be valid. She works for a publication that has been working with indigenous cultures for over 44 years. I could not find an educational background for her, but the other articles she wrote all relate to the lands, resources, and environment of indigenous people. I would assume that this is her area of expertise and should be considered as a valid source.

The author is associated with a reputable organization. The work from this site is predicated on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Their core values and mission is to respect and honor Indigenous People’s inherent right and dynamic cultures worldwide by amplifying efforts, supporting, and raising awareness of self-determination for Indigenous communities.

This article was published in December of 2000, which makes it 16 years old. I would say that this data isn’t completely out of date, as it is still useful, because this market is growing at the present day, but since it is 16 years old we probably have more information on how this market has evolved.

The author’s focus is on a specialized audience towards people who are interested in the culture of the traditional Quechua healers and shamans and their role in cultural tourism.

This article is a mix of fact and opinion because she is using information from the healer she interviewed and background research on the subject and could definitely be backed up. It is valid and well researched, as the article is very in depth. There are not many other lines of work related to this topic, but the ones that I found are in line with it. I think it is an objective point of view because she does not put in her two cents at all but only uses her data and information. She also uses the indigenous names multiple times, but the author herself is not native.

Proctor, R. (2000, December). Tourism Opens New Doors, Creates New Challenges, For Traditional Healers in Peru. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from


This article is about the Inca nations international campaign “Peru, the land of hidden treasures”. It is a social media platform through Facebook and Instagram that has reached over 80 million people worldwide. This campaign is promoting all the natural beauty, cultural heritage, food, and destinations not as a place you discover but rather a place you discover yourself. The main idea of this article is about how social media can boost and open up the tourist market for indigenous people worldwide.

The credentials of Quiroz seem to be valid. He works for Andina, which is the Peru News Agency. This agency is owned and ran by the Peruvian government. He is the director of medias and since this article is about how social media effects the tourist market of Peru, I believe that he is qualified to write this article and trust what he is saying.

This site is associated with two reputable organizations. The first being the Peruvian government and these two organizations are closely related. Andina is also a member of the Latin American Union News Agencies, which is an alliance with large news agencies based in Latin America. Their mission is to provide the most up to date and accurate information and news that is going on in Peru and around the world.

This was published on February 14, 2017 so it is extremely up to date and pertains to life in the present day. This article is very relevant especially since we are emerging as the age of social media. It is good to understand the impact of social media on cultural tourism.

This audience is aimed for the generalized public. It is one short and concise news article on tourism in Peru, which is a large part of Peru’s economy. Anyone who lives in Peru or nearby could benefit from this information.

This article is fact. There is nothing but quotes of facts or data numbers that can be backed up. It is valid and well researched and in line with other articles on the social media advantage to Peru tourism. The point of view is completely objective with no emotional words or bias but just straight facts. The author is a member of the cultural group.

Quiroz, F. P. (2017, February 14). “Peru, Land of Hidden Treasures” Campaign Boosts Country’s Tourist Appeal. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from