About us and our objectives

We are a group of investigators with prolongued experience working on economic development projects in Peru. This Andean country has a very difficult geography, not only due to its imposing mountains, but also to its very dense rainforest, that covers roughly one-half of its territory. Our trips through the various and very different regions in Perú has given us a deep appreciation of the beauty and potential of this country for development. This, together with the political demands for decentralization, and the increasing awareness of the importance of preserving the environment lead us to look for alternatives of development based on deepening the knowledge of the geography that in Peru shows an extraordinary complexity. This is a very great challenge that requires very serious multidisciplinary studies.

The inspiration to decentralize the country through a plan called "Peruvía" is owed to Alfonso Rizo-Patron, who during his governmental tenure as Secretary of Development and Public Works between 1959 and 1960 hired prestigious foreign consulting companies to make studies on the central region of Peru and its possibilities of development. One of these companies was Hunting Associates of Canada, that with radar technologies made the first correct mapping surveys of the Mantaro river in its confluence with the Apurímac River, and of the Cutivireni river basin. In 1961, while studying aerial photos of the zone by stereographic pairs, Mr. Rizo-Patron discovered the largest known natural bridge in the world over the Cutivireni river, that is one of the most extraordinary natural features of the country, which is little known until now.

One of the economic activities considered in the Peruvia Plan, and that offers much hope for the future of Peru, is Tourism. This activity is already important mainly in the region of Cuzco, that is called the archaeological capital of South America due to its marvelous remains of a culture that developed gradually in the Andean region adapting itself in a very admirable way to the extraordinary difficulties posed by the topography. However, there are many more attractive territories in Peru, both from the point of view of  archaeology as well as of their natural beauty that have not been tapped, uncovered, or even discovered. One of our immediate objectives is to use the new technologies in the field of computerized geography for identifying and making these regions known to the world through the Internet. For this purpose we have organized ten aerial and/or land expeditions to previously unexplored or little known territories since the year 2000. Many of the highlights of these expeditions are reported in this website through hundreds of images and some videos.

A longer term objective of our group is to develop new criteria for the economic development of tourism, in a country that suffer a series of problems that inhibit investment in this field. One of the main reasons that Tourism has not been developed in Peru is that adequate infrastructure has not been built for this purpose. The existing roads in many mountain places are very dangerous, and furthermore, many important archaeological sites are only accessible by long walks, such as the important sites in the Yauyos Province, and many others. In the case of the Amazonian rainforest, the obstacles are of a different nature, but here the problem is compounded by the fact that the construction of roads has a very harmful impact on the delicate environment of this region of extraordinary biodiversity.

Now again, the great technological progress in the developed countries offers hope for planning and developing adequate infrastructure and corresponding means of transport to be able to offer tourists much better access to the myriads of places where they can admire the wonders that Peru has to offer to the world. In the field of computer technology, the modern techniques of Geographic Information Systems and satellite imaging are potentially important tools for designing regional development in our complex environments. In the transport business a nice example is given by the Zeppelin company of Germany who has recently redesigned its legendary rigid-frame airship. This environmentally-friendly vehicle is ideal for tourist transport in the jungle area, up to an altitude of 2400 meters, due to its stability, maneuverability and low noise, aside from its great range due to its low fuel consumption. Other places in Peru might require enhanced vehicles for water transportation, taking advantage of the abundance of navigable rivers; others might require helicopter transport, where it is too high for airships and where adequate roads cannot be built, etc. In every case, much care must be given so as not to cause a negative environmental impact. But this is more and more feasible today since the engineering skills available in the modern world offer many alternatives for environmentally friendly means of transport.

Another field that offers great promise for economic development is related to the great biodiversity that is found in this country. Although the exploitation of this natural resource requires much care due to the need to maintain the delicate environmental equilibria, there are many products that can be very profitable. Medicinal herbs, many types of fruits and nutritive plants, hundreds of species of wood, have to be studied thoroughly in order to find the ways to make them available in the world markets economically and sustainably. Some information on these possibilities can be found in http://www.peruvillage.com/store/biodiversity.html and other similar websites.

But all of this requires a concerted effort to develop. Only if this is worked out by people of good will and much imagination, in an international cooperation scheme, will we be able to cope with the challenges that are present in a world of increasing social unrest due to the inefficient allocation of resources and distribution of wealth.

Finally, there is an extremely grave social problem in Perú. In the case of the mountainous rainforest this is closely related to the interdependent problem of deforestation, narcotraffic and terrorism that is destroying the ancestral territories of the main ethnic groups that have originally inhabited these lands. This destruction not only has negative ecological consequences but it endangers the preservation of the ancestral knowledge of these ethnic groups who have adapted admirably to the complex rainforest environment.
Moreover, the whole of Perú is suffering from great social unrest due to the economic and political demands of many people that came under the negative influence of the previous corrupt governments. These became involved in the very lucrative business of narcotraffic as a means to consolidate their political power. Even though the present government is making efforts to combat these plagues there is still too much financial power in the hands of the maffias that makes this a losing battle at present. Since the tourist business can absorb much of the labor force that is now involved in these depredatory activities, we are very much interested in promoting this activity as a means to counteract the negative forces that are destroying our country. One brave combatant against these blind forces in the central rainforest region has been our friend, the Franciscan Friar Mariano Gagnon. In our Texts section we offer his book "Warriors in Eden" in electronic format. This book describes the dramatic struggle for survival of the Ashaninka people of the Cutivireni region between the years 1984 and 1990 in their war against terrorism and narcotraffic.