Preserving Cultural Places

As a cultural traveler, we rarely consider the toll that so many people visiting a place can have on the wear and tear of the place. Machu Picchu is one place that “Tourism Cares,” a U.S. based group is attempting to help to preserve. There are thousands of tourists that visit  Machu Picchu each year. It is but one example of the importance of preserving cultural places. Tourism Cares, as a group, is aligning itself as a non- profit organization to assist in the preservation of places such as Machu Picchu.

The Incas started building the “estate” around 1400, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like.[3] By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored.[4] The restoration work continues to this day.[5]

Since the site was never known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site in 1983.[2] In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll.

Machu Picchu- Photo by CharlesjSharp

Preserving cultural places such as Machu Picchu is important so that all of the people of the world can witness the magnificence of this sacred place. It is important for us all to take responsibility for the  care and respect for preserving Machu Picchu. Read the whole article about Tourism Cares here. 

You may also wish to see National Geographic’s video of Machu Picchu here.


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