Risking the Ruins of Machu Picchu

We're off to Machu Picchu, Peru to look at how that magnificent, spiritual site is now in danger not just of disnification, but of poor conservation, and significant environmental damage as a construction boom continues below it.

Part Two of The Current

Risking the Ruins of Machu Picchu - Alejandro Camino

We started this segment with a clip from Joaquin Randall, the General Manager of the El Albergue Hotel in Ollantaytambo, Peru. That's the town halfway between Cusco and Machu Picchu. El Albergue is the oldest hotel in the town - it first opened in 1925. Joaquin's parents, American backpackers, took it over and reopened it 35-years ago. Joaquin himself was born at the hotel and now he runs the family business.

This month marks the centennial of when local indigenous farmers guided the American Archaeologist Hiram Bingham to Machu Picchu, the "lost city" of the Incas. An estimated one million tourists are expected to come to Machu Picchu for the festivities.

But not everyone will be celebrating. Many people fear that Machu Picchu could be on its way to becoming a disneyland of sorts - overrun with camera-clicking tourists. And there is concern over such things as erosion and damage caused by the crush of visitors.

Alejandro Camino joined us from Lima. He is the program director for Peru for the Global Heritage Fund - which is an organization that serves to protect, preserve and sustain the most significant and endangered cultural heritage sites in the developing world.

Risking the Ruins of Machu Picchu

For many people, visiting Machu Picchu gets a hold on them and doesn't let go. Mark Adams is one of those people. His new book is Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time. He was in New York City.

Related Links

Music Bridge

Artist: Five Stone
Cut: All Together Now
Label: November Sixteenth Publishing

Other segment from today's show:

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