We spent a day in the municipality of Wayku-Lamas in Tarapoto. We started the visit joining elders in their traditional Sunday dance before we went to interview Roninson Sangama Tapoyiva.
We were also invited to interview the Major Werling Guerra and his wife Karol Stefani Sangama at “Waska Waska Warmi Wasi” (a cultural women center for arts and crafts).After all interviews, we were hosted by a local family to eat lunch together with them. We helped with some cooking and enjoyed a lovely traditional meal with them. They gave us beautiful ceramics they made themselves and the children received gifts from us as well. It was a really nice and sunny day in this beautiful place! About Wayku-Lamas
The native name of the community is “Kechwa-Wayku”, also known as Wayku and it belongs to the district and province of Lamas, located in the region of San Martin, in Peru. Wayku is the capital of the Kechwa people from San Martin region, and part of the Peruvian Amazon. In the capital there is about 45 native Kechwa communities.
There, we met and interviewed the major of the community by that time, a very young and friendly man that received us together with his wife, their baby and his mother in law. We were shown the beautiful handmade arts and crafts produced by the women of the municipality, skilled and creative artisans, mainly known for the production of ceramics and traditional textiles. During the interview, the major and his wife, sent an invitation worldwide to visit this municipality and contribute to the preservation of their cultural heritage and traditions through conscious travel and educational help. They are willing to open their homes and offer a modest and pleasant stay to tourists and people interested in contribute and help the community with different things they lack and need, with a special mention about education and sustainable building/engineering/infrastructure.
Fragments from the interview with Werlin Guerra Amaringo – previous major of Wayku Lamas municipality
“Only five percent of Wayku population are professionals. Ninety-five percent of the population are farmers, craftsmen. Today we must rightfully exploit our culture, in favor of the population.” “We currently lack state care because we are in the XXI Century and today’s culture is not being utilized as they do in other cities that do not have the culture that we have.”
“We feel it is urgent that our culture needs to be addressed, broadcast internationally.”
“Today we lack of infrastructure in education … Globalization and modernization of our capital has influenced our culture.”
“We believe it is urgent and necessary that institutions and organizations support our culture, so that our culture does not disappear.”
“For us culture comes first and then comes the rest.”
Fragments from the interview with Karol Stefani Sangama Salas, president of the organization Wayjo for quechua speaking youth – wife of Werlin Guerra Amaringo
“All young people know their language, but because of embarrassment or discrimination
that exists, we do not want to talk. Many young people make fun of me because I speak Quechua and I say, “Why do you mock me?” Rather we feel flattered because we know two languages, right? Quechua and Castilian. And here we may not be appreciated, but outside we are very appreciate.”
“Our goal is to have professionals, lawyers, engineers … So that we can build our society in the best possible way.”
“We invite you to come to our home, to see our reality, how we really live. Perhaps, in this way, you will feel attracted to our culture and, perhaps, also speak Quechua.”