Tuesday 10 January 2017
Valleys and clouds

A journey to Argentina visiting the places of the Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism project. By Lia Guillen on AMU News n. 2/2016.

One year from the start of the cooperation with the Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism Program in Northwest Argentina (TSNOA), we went to visit those beautiful lands, travelling the region for 2500 km, and meeting the people who adhere to this proposed type of tourism investing on local development, on identity preservation and indigenous traditions, on the respect for the environment and the fraternal welcome.

The North West Region of Argentina is a known tourist point of interest for its diverse landscapes and its unique natural environment. Moving just a few kilometres from one point to another of the region, it is possible to see from the Andean plateau, aka Puna, up to the subtropical forest of the Yungas, multicolored hills, valleys with vineyards (Valles Calchaquíes), gorges (del Toro, de Las Conchas , de Humahuaca), rivers, high mountains, eternal snow, volcanoes and salt flats.

This nature and these landscapes are harmoniously combined with an important cultural heritage linked to the original peoples of these lands, Diaguita, Guarani, Wichí, Omaguaca, the colonial and pre-colonial architectural heritage: adobe buildings, a mixture of straw and mud, archaeological sites, cave paintings and other attractions, such as the monumental work of the train in the clouds, so called because it travels at a very high altitude, and links some communities such as the Quebrada del Toro, or Brealito where the TSNOA program takes place.

Despite its great natural and cultural wealth, different factors disrupt the human development of its people, so that for several years now the program seeks to mitigate the effects of this situation and improve integrally the lives of peoples and communities, through the proposal of a sustainable, inclusive and communitarian tourism. Most of the participants are dedicated to agriculture, handicrafts and farming, and thanks to tourism, they can enhance their core activities. The training received through the program, financed over time, allows them to also offer new services in the tourism sector, such as housing, food services, tourist guides. The road ahead is still long, but the results are already positively affecting the lives of the participants.

An important aspect of the program is the involvement of several private and public institutions. At the end of the trip a roundtable was held in the city of Salta including representatives of different institutions and the project participants, to analyse the way followed up to now and consider the new steps ahead, towards the strengthening of the participating communities.

We thank the team of the TSNOA Programme who welcomed us and guided us on this trip, which has broadened our hearts and filled us with the desire to continue working together.

Our bet

«To come into contact with the program allowed me to get to know new places and new friends, and appreciate community work. I thank all those who have allowed me to grow professionally and to bet, as a young man, on tourism, showing my culture and the resources that my province holds.» (Luis, tour guide Ao Adventure)

«It’s very nice that you came to see us to know what our work as artisans and manufacturers is concretely, the place to which we belong, the space, the way we work, so that you could also experience our way of being and doing here in the Valley.» (Norma Vega, teacher, farmer and artisan)

«I come from a poor family, with little opportunities. But handicrafts and tourism have given me what I once dreamed of. I am very grateful because, thanks to God, with the beautiful things that I have learned through craft working, which is my field, I can help my brothers to study at university.» (Primitivo Yapura, artisan)

Photo: Ritual celebration of “Pachamama” with the indigenous community of Hornaditas

For more information about the program see the sheet of our site or the Spanish website https://programatsnoa.org.ar


One Comment

    Posted Jan 30 , 2017 at 15:46 PM | Permalink

    Sono volontario dell’Opera di Maria e con mia moglie ho visitato in lungo e largo per oltre 6 mesi complessivi in 3 volte l’ Argentina, il Cile, Il Peru e la Bolivia. Abbiamo visitato le nostre comunita’, centri zona, focolari e volontari, Aurora di santa Maria di Catamarca, ecc… Ci interesserebbe sapere se fate anche questo percorso che indichero’ qui di seguito e l’ eventuale costo premettendo che siamo viaggiatori vecchi ma sempre viaggiatori che guardano al portafolio:
    1. da Salta alla Puna, scendendo in Chile passando dai telescopi a mt. 5.000 per rientrare a S. Pedro di Atacama e ritornare nell’ Uyuni scendendo in Argentina a Salta.
    2. da farsi forse a seguito di quanto sopra:
    – Peru’da Cuzco al nuovo sito aperto da poco al pubblico, vicino a Abancay-Cachaora-Kiunallasi sale con la teleferica, e’ un simil Machu Picchu, poi a nord di Lima la piu’ antica citta’ del Sud America Caral e alcuni nuovissimi siti a nord vicino al Signore di Sipan, Trujillo. forse 1 e’ nella foresta amazzonica? Poi il ritorno all’ interno lungo la Cordillera: Otuzco, Pomabamba-Chavin de Huantar- che mi pare sia una zona battuta da viaggiatori ruvidi, (ci va Avventure nel Mondo ) ma molto panoramica.
    Siccome sono pure un tour manager/leader potrebbero associarsi altri amici.

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