When you think Peru, you probably think Machu Pichu. But there is SO much more to the country where even altitude sickness can be deadly for tourists. BMX bikers, Aaron Chase, Chris Van Dine, Ali Goulet, Katie Holden and Rich Van Every take us on the wildest of rides down the country’s mountains with a GoPro. You better hold on!
“These mountains go forever and ever and as we’re going up, the mountains are going up,” one of the bikers said. “When we get up to these ruins… it’s a lost world up there and we’re rediscovering it on our bikes.” And they don’t only rediscover ruins, but also Peruvians who welcome them with open arms.
As they ride down the mountain to the city center, one biker puts everything in perspective: “Anyone who makes it out alive is like a brother.”
Picture this: You’ve made the long, difficult journey to Machu Picchu, taking a variety of planes and trains and buses to get there, and now finally, you’re inside the grounds. You begin to explore the more than 500-year-old site, marveling at its ancient structures, its surreal terraces and ramps. Life is sweet; the world is wonderful and mysterious. But at some point —and for some unknown reason— you sneak into a sacred temple constructed half a millennium ago, drop your pants, and POOP one of the greatest marvels this world has to offer. This actually happened.
Six tourists emptied their bowels inside the hallowed grounds of an Incan worshipping room: There’s something deeply wrong with some people.
For some inexplicable reason, that’s exactly what a group of tourists allegedly did over the weekend, France 24 reports. Six people in their twenties and early thirties were arrested on Sunday after Peruvian authorities caught them in a restricted area of Machu Picchu’s Temple of the Sun, a revered part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Park rangers and police found feces inside of the temple.
The Temple of the Sun had also been damaged after a piece of stone had “broken off a wall and caused a crack in the floor,” regional police chief Wilbert Leyva told Andina, a local news agency. “The six tourists are being detained and investigated by the public ministry for the alleged crime against cultural heritage,” Leyva said.
The group was made up of one French, two Brazilians, two Argentines and a Chilean, according to police.
They face at least four years in prison if found guilty of damaging Peru’s heritage. Several parts of the semicircular Temple of the Sun are off limits to tourists for preservation reasons.
Worshipers at the temple would make offerings to the sun.
The sun was considered the most important deity in the Inca empire as well as other pre-Inca civilizations in the Andean region. The Machu Picchu estate—which includes three distinct areas for agriculture, housing and religious ceremonies—is the most iconic site from the Inca empire that ruled a large swathe of western South America for 100 years before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.
Three Argentines, a Brazilian, a Chilean and a French woman make up the group.
Local media reported that all the tourists were aged between 20 and 32. In 2014, authorities denounced a trend that saw tourists getting naked at the sacred location. Four American tourists were detained in March of that year forremoving their clothes and posing for photos at the site. In a pair of separate incidents earlier in the same week, two Canadians and two Australians were detained for stripping down for pictures there.
Machu Picchu, means “old mountain” in the Quechua language indigenous to the area.
The historic site is at the top of a lush mountain and was built during the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438-1471). It lies around 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Andean city of Cusco, the old Inca capital in southeastern Peru. The site was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1983.
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!
The days of comics that are all about cape crusaders and masked bad guys are over. We’re living in a new time where we can’t afford to pretend we live in a fantasy world. Artists today are taking the modern world we’re living in, full of evil politics, natural disasters, environmental issues, and whatever else is thrown our way and applying that to a new frontier of comic-book stories.
Creatives have launched “Puro Peru,” a kid-friendly comic book that educates and explores indigenous communities and essential issues such as the environment.
The comic book is 92 pages and includes eight separate stories that are all about discovering Peru, the people who live there, and how they’re tackling issues with climate change.
“We present eight stories with stories that bring us closer to Peru in a personal way, on a journey full of ancestral traditions and knowledge,” creators state on their website. “With them, we want to sensitize society about the environmental situation of the planet, in the Amazon rainforest and in the mountains of Peru. We hope you enjoy this great adventure designed by several of the best illustrators and writers in Spain.”
The book is published by CESAL, an extension of Vooltea, which is an interactive and educational website aimed at young people and teachers to publicize the different realities of five Latin American countries, which include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.
Let’s meet some of the artists and the stories they’re sharing.
Javier de Isusi and Alex Orbe take on the causes and consequences of climate change in their comic book stories.
“Climate change is currently the main environmental problem and one of the biggest challenges of our time,” they write. “This also exacerbates the situation of poverty in which the most disadvantaged groups are found: women, peasants, and indigenous population, and it is with them that CESAL works in Peru.”
Calo, an award-winning artist, takes on climate change by exploring how people in various countries handle the changes to their environment.
“What measures have been taken to mitigate climate change?” he asks in his story about international measures to break and adapt to climate change. “When are we worldwide? It’s about taking a trip through the reality of different continents and countries to find good and bad practices.”
Emilio Ruiz Zavala and Ana Miralles dive into the indigenous and Sierra population and how these benefits the mitigation of climate change.
“Climate change especially affects indigenous peoples and rural communities,” the artists state. “On the other hand, they are also the ones with the most accumulated knowledge of climatic phenomena and how to deal with variability and unpredictability.”
Artist Rubencio addresses the critical aspect of strengthening the capabilities of the indigenous population in order to take on the issues of climate change.
“The concept of resilience has become fundamental in the theory and practice of disaster risk reduction and currently has an important place in discussions about adaptation to climate change,” he states.
Núria Tamarit, one of the youngest artists taking part in the series, looks at how people can help their local environment in order to make a global impact. “The intention is to encourage critical reflection on the society in which we live and propose changes (clues) that promote a new development model based on sustainability and respect for the environment,” Tamarit states.
Teresa Valero’s story takes on how climate change is affecting the jungle of Peru.
“The Amazon represents 62 percent of the Peruvian territory. In her, they inhabit the greater number of native cultures and the greater biodiversity of the country and the world. As a consequence of Climate Change, strong droughts and floods stand out, causing the loss of forests.”
It’s so beautiful that kids today (and adults) can understand what is happening to our planet on an intermediate level — in Peru — in a way that isn’t complex to understand.
Often, people don’t seem to grasp the severity of climate change because they feel the problem is more significant than themselves and too challenging to be part of the change. These stories show us in simpler and creative terms that change is possible. The comic book is available to download for free. Click here.