Have you ever wondered what makes Peru such a diverse country? The extreme differences in the environments here contributes to its diversity of plant & animal life. In addition, it allows for a wide range of crops to thrive.
Over thousands of years, indigenous people throughout the country have developed an amazing understanding of their local agricultural systems. Their accumulated knowledge is shown in local agricultural calendars, documenting the long agricultural history of Peru.
One of the richest areas of traditional culture is the Peruvian highlands. These high-altitude communities still carry the traditional knowledge of the Incas, who were experts in transforming mountainous terrain into arable land and agricultural research. They were masters of adapting agricultural practices to varied microclimates, and built complex terracing to conserve water and provide optimal growing conditions.
Agriculture is a huge part of the Peruvian economy, and it is also a major part of the way of life. For example, proof can be found in Patacancha, a traditional village in Cusco, high above the Sacred Valley. Here, community members follow an annual agricultural calendar that they have planned down to a science. Along with agricultural milestones, the calendar is linked to religion and community collaboration.
If you´re interested in experiencing traditional agriculture in Peru, Ayni offers multiple opportunities throughout the country. A few examples are our Lares Homestay Trek and Andean Spiritualism tour. However, homestays and community visits can be included in almost any itinerary.
Over thousands of years, Peruvians have developed agricultural calendars specific to their environment.
In addition to following a traditional agricultural calendar, Patacancha also holds an annual celebration for the anniversary of its founding. The celebration is held on August 29th or 30th of each year, and involves traditional dress, dances, and of course, chicha—a traditional fermented corn drink. Visiting during one of these events is the best way to experience indigenous culture first-hand. No matter what time of year—planting, harvest, shearing, or anniversary season—there is something magical to experience with homestays and community visits.