Threads of Peru Blog

Chaullacocha Weekend Visit

This past weekend, the Threads of Peru team left Cusco before the break of day to begin a trip to one of the more remote communities with which they work, Chaullacocha. Once in Ollantaytambo (the famed gateway to Machu Picchu), the team took to the plaza to seek out the Saturday food truck that makes its weekly trip up and back on the sole road between the city center and Chaullacocha. The trip up certainly put into perspective the logistical barriers that the NGO faces in working with such a remote Andean community.  It also highlights some unique  experiences that we offer in remote Andes as part of the volunteer program.

Preparing for the trip up to Chaullacocha! Here, the food truck is loading up with goods and people in the plaza at Ollantaytambo. (Photo credit Harrison Ackerman) 
Preparing for the trip up to Chaullacocha! Here, the food truck is loading up with goods and people in the plaza at Ollantaytambo. (Photo credit Harrison Ackerman)

Evaluation Research Intern Annie is excited to give this new way of travel a shot! (Photo credit Harrison Ackerman) 
Evaluation Research Intern Annie is excited to give this new way of travel a shot! (Photo credit Harrison Ackerman)

Annie waking up to laughter throughout the camión; everyone was amused by the older Quechua señora who had fallen asleep on her arm. (Photo credit Harrison Ackerman) 
Annie waking up to laughter throughout the camión; everyone was amused by the older Quechua señora who had fallen asleep on her arm. (Photo credit Harrison Ackerman)

Surrounded by 35 other individuals looking to get dropped off in their respective communities along the road, a couple of bleating sheep, and several sacks of potatoes and fresh bread, the Threads of Peru evaluation team (part of the volunteer program) along with their two translators Adrian and Raul, was desperately hoping that their radio message calling on the remaining ten interview participants was heard by at least one person, who could then pass word along to everyone else.

Evaluation Research Intern Harrison works with Adrian, a friend and Spanish-Quechua translator, to complete one of the team’s final interviews in Chaullacocha. (Photo credit Dana Blair)  
Evaluation Research Intern Harrison works with Adrian, a friend and Spanish-Quechua translator, to complete one of the team’s final interviews in Chaullacocha. (Photo credit Dana Blair)

Once the evaluation team was in the community center and posted up behind the school (away from the wind), the remaining ten women (all of whom had received the radio message!) showed up one by one to complete their interviews with the team. Each artisan seemed very anxious to provide her information and opinionated feedback. One woman, who the team had yet to interview from Rumira Sondormayo (which lies on the road between Ollantaytambo and Chaullacocha), even made the trip all the way from her community to Chaullacocha’s center after hearing via radio that we would be present on Saturday! She expressed her interest in being a part of the evaluation project as her motivation for making the trip- the team was moved by her incentive and therefore enthusiastic to finish out the day on a strong note.

Article by Annie Marcinek

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