Building bridges in Peru

Imagine what would happen if we all worked together in our communities to produce or enhance infrastructure that helps us in our dailiy lives. If through tradition we taught each other skills, and handed on the knowledge of how to balance history with modernity; hand-working the same as centuries before, but potentially safer, warmer, and more contactable thanks to modern products and materials.

In the region of Cusco in Peru, a unique centuries-old Incan tradition continues to this day. Each year during the second week of June, hundreds of locals gather to hand build a new Q’eswachaka bridge over the Apurímac River. The 124-foot-long rope bridge is meant to honor the Andean gods. Using only natural fibers and no small measure of dedication and teamwork, the community tears down the previous year’s bridge and constructs a new one in an epic three-day feat.

Master builders Eleuterio Callo Tapia and Victoriano Arizapana took us through the process and even invited us to the ensuing celebration.

This Great Big Story was made in partnership with Peru (