GRANT #416:

Canals of Rurec

09/14/2020
This Rock Star Finds Hidden Heritage High In Peru

Felipe Proaño is a climber and explorer from Ecuador whose adventures in the Andes mountain range inspired his latest quest. He’s dreaming of a large scale archaeological study of the Rurec valley of Peru. Why? He and other rock climbers have spotted hundreds of mysterious structures in the mountains. Felipe and others believe these relics are pre-Hispanic, but how can we know, really, what they are? It’s going to take some serious study.  Felipe wants a formal, recognized effort to uncover the secrets: who built these? What were the purposes of these structures?

His plan is to use aerial technology and satellite imagery to aid modern rock climbers to count, measure, and map these structures. Our Awesome Without Borders grant will pay for the permits needed to begin the archaeological exploration in Peru, and to translate the project materials into the local Quechua language so the people who live in the area can understand what’s happening.

Felipe wants them to know that this is their cultural heritage, and that exploring and documenting these vestiges of the past can offer them possibilities for the future. Attracting interest in this Peruvian patrimony might lead to opportunities for sustainable eco-tourism.

It’s a lofty goal! You can find out more about Felipe’s work here.