One of our proudest achievements at MLP is the joint venture that we established with the people in the remote village of Huacahuasi in the Lares region of Cusco. This community became our partners in MLP’s Huacahuasi Lodge, a stop on our Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure, and is an example of our sustainability commitment to our local Andean neighbors. In addition to our health and agriculture initiatives, there are social ones that give these communities the opportunity to celebrate their personal experiences and unique perspectives on everyday life in this traditional Andean community. By providing access to modern resources and tools, we can encourage their interest in sharing those individual points of view with an international audience eager to learn now. Our primary goal is to honor the great value of their historic knowledge and traditions (without encouraging unwanted change), and simultaneously enable mechanisms that will allow them to support themselves within their own communities well into the future.
This year we organized a photography contest open to the entire Huacahuasi community; ten contestants were selected to compete. First, they participated in a workshop given by Gustavo Vivanco, a celebrated photographer from Cusco (https://gustavovivancoleon.com/). Next, each was given the directive of choosing a subject relevant to their daily lives and was allocated time to use a digital camera to take the photos for their contest submission. Franklin Puclla Cabeza was named the winner, his compelling black and white image of grazing llamas winning over the judges. That day Franklin took home his own digital camera and the distinction of having his work displayed prominently in the lodge.