Peru has been famous for its pottery for the past 3,000 years. An English speaking Peruvian architect who has dedicated himself to ceramics for the past 20 years offers to teach the ancient Peruvian techniques to modern ceramists. Pablo Seminario lives in Urubamba, 200 miles north of Cuzco, we will stay while we attend a hands-on course on Inca ceramics. While our pieces dry we will have time to visit Machu Picchu and other Inca sites, and by the end of the trip we will walk away with our hand-made Inca pottery and new experiences in ceramics.
Weaving has been an important part of the life of men and women of the Central Andes. Nilda Callañaupa, a Indian of Chinchero, speaks English, Spanish and her native Quechua, and is excited to teach the techniques of her ancestors. She runs a center for the Preservation of Andean Textiles with support from The Cultural Survival Institution of Massachusetts and organizes courses where we can sit with the locals and share their experiences. Awanacancha, on the way from Cusco to Pisac, is a town helping Indian communities preserve and rescue textile techniques where they also sell excellent quality textiles. They also have a live show of American camelids: alpacas, suri, huacaya, several kinds of llamas, vicuñas and guanacos. Other important and famous textile centers in the Cusco area are Pitumarca, Chahaytire, Accha Alta, Parobamba, Kero, Patabamba and Mahuaypampa
The Inca were fantastic stone masons. The Spanish came to Peru in 1532 and used this excellent handicraft in building impressive churches and developing cities (the Incas hardly had any cities). Augusto Ortiz de Zevallos in Lima and Roberto Samanez in Cusco are guides who can discuss the history of Peruvian architecture and art to our travelers.