Every year, in a hidden corner of the Peruvian Andes, four Quechua communities renew a bridge more than five centuries old, Qeswachaka is one of them.
During the time of the Incas there was a great network of roads called “Camino Real” that linked the Inca Empire. However, due to its difficult geography, many places were connected by hanging bridges made of vegetable fiber.
The Qeswachaka is the only bridge that has been renewed from generation to generation by Cusco families until today. The bridge is located in the department of Cusco, over the Apurimac River at 3,700 meters above sea level. Nearly a thousand people from different communities near the bridge meet for four days to renew it.
Now, we will know the tradition of the fourth day that takes the reconstruction of the Qeswachaka:
The first day, the people of the communities go out in search of a solid straw of vegetable fiber called Ichu, in Quechua. Once the necessary amount of Ichu has been collected, the women weave this solid straw to create the bridge ropes, and the men are in charge of joining and gathering the rope from end to end and then making the braid.
When the second day arrives, the structure of the old bridge is dismantled, the stone nails that hold the bridge are removed and four ropes are placed that are the base of the new bridge structure.
Tired, but still strong, on the third day, the villagers conclude with the assembly of the railings and the surface of the bridge, through which they will cross the communities.
Finishing the work, when the fourth day arrives, everyone celebrates the reconstruction of the new bridge, to the rhythm of the music that they themselves perform with typical and indigenous dances, since the work is considered a great celebration by the Peruvian ancestors.
Therefore, if you travel to Cusco, do not hesitate to visit this hidden place in the Andes: An unknown destination for travelers that evokes amazement and a lot of tradition. Would you dare to cross it?
I am founder and content creator of Lorenzo Expeditions, since 2006 I started with the Inca Jungle tour, guiding and serving thousands of tourists in a personal way to get to know Machu Picchu in a unique and authentic way.