Join the 2019 Education with a Destination Peru Tour to experience the beauty of Peru! Meet the children of Casa Chapi and see three world-famous alpaca farms, including Don Julio’s Accoyo, the inspiration for Quechua Benefit’s founding. You can also choose to extend your trip and visit Machu Picchu. Plan now for a great trip in October.
The Latest On: vicuña
High-quality alpacas were exported to the United States beginning in 1993 and lasting through 1998. Simultaneously alpacas were exported to Canada, Australia and Europe. In over 30 countries today, alpacas are bred in a more calculated fashion than is commonly the case in South America. This has led to the improvement of the breed worldwide, including in Peru.
There is an old Quechua myth that tells the story of a princess, the daughter of an Apu, who lived in Lake Titicaca and was given a dowry of alpacas when she married a young boy who lived on the shores of the lake. But there is another theory that in some ways could in be consistent with both of these hypotheses.
The Inca rulers, with their gift for organizing and governing vast territories, elevated the wild vicuña to exclusive status in their empire. The Sun Kings forbade the killing of vicuña. Instead, ceremonial hunts, or chaccus, were held annually. Thirty thousand people would form a half circle, beating drums and chanting, as the vicuña ran before them.
The wild Vicuna stood rigid and still a mere three feet away. Her round ebony eyes mirrored the image of man — her mortal enemy for more than ten thousand years. She seemed to be simultaneously contemplating escape and submission. The cria stood boldly at her side, while the Chacu swirled on around them.