Inca Project Volunteers in Peru take part in Church restoration and Inca excavations.
The volunteers in Zurite, the base for our Inca Projects, are to be involved in two significant and exciting projects. The restoration of the beautiful 17th century church in the village square has recently started while an excavation of the original village site will begin in mid-May.
The restoration of San Nicolas de Bari Church. The Andean village of Zurite, like many Peruvian villages of its type, sees its Church as the cornerstone of the community. This colonial church, built following the arrival of the Spanish ´Conquistadores´, has largely fallen into disrepair. Important both as a local facility and as a potential tourist attraction, the Institucion Nacional de Cultura (INC) and Projects Abroad are now working together to restore it. The INC is the government body that looks after ruins and historic buildings in Peru - similar to English Heritage. Its experts are assisting and guiding Projects Abroad volunteers with uncovering, cleaning and conserving altars, statues and the detailed murals and frescos that decorate the walls. The volunteers are learning skills and techniques in conservation and restoration while working towards a December deadline that will see the church once again be the glorious focal point for Zurite´s annual fiesta day.
Excavation at Tambo Cancha
Following the success of last year, Projects Abroad volunteers will once again be assisting with the excavation at Tambo Cancha: the original site of the village of Zurite. Working with local archaeologists from mid-May, the volunteers will hope to uncover further artefacts, trinkets and secrets from this unusual site. Unlike most Incan towns that are laid out in a grid style, Tambo Cancha is in the shape of a ´Tumi´ or ceremonial knife, with houses on only 3 sides. Several rooms uncovered last year were in the form of the Andean Cross or ´Chacana´, the most sacred and powerful Incan symbol. For two months the volunteers will be involved with the dig, learning skills including how to conserve, catalogue and label the finds. More importantly, Projects Abroad will be helping to discover just why the village of Zurite was so important to the Incan empire.