El Nacion Q'eros
From the moment the words “bienvenido al nación q’eros!” at the stop of our truck at Quico Grande, I knew this homestay would be special. After about an hour long hike we arrived at Quico Chico, the smallest community I had seen throughout our time in Peru. You could see only maybe five houses at a time while standing in one spot, all made of stone with no windows, and few larger than my bedroom back home. After a briefing with the whole group, me and the other people I was staying with headed to our homes. Our host father, Gerardo, tied a light to the ceiling so that we could see, and it was clear that this place had gone near untouched by the technology and advancements of the world. Later on in the homestay, we held a ceremony as a group and discussed if it would be better, for the community, to allow more tourism and technologies into Q’eros. We could of course not come up with any definitive answer, but we spoke of the apparent pros and cons. Perhaps things like education and reliable water and electricity and connection to the rest of the world would be great advancements for Q’eros, but the reason for the creation of Q’eros was to escape all of that. And if the people did decide to let tourism in and make this something like Machu Picchu, full of tourists, who are we to say no. Although we couldn’t get an easy answer, I found it interesting how complex this issue truly is.