On the Interoceanic Highway, that leads to the rainforest of Madre de Dios, there is a small town that hides a religious gem. A small chapel made of mud and thatched roof dedicated to the Virgen de la Natividad. The chapel has 235 years old, and only has a single tower. Next to its entry, that has a mud wall with an arched entrance, there is a tiny cemetery that is still in use. The interior of the chapel, although neglected, is very beautiful. In his short space it offers a show of mural paintings, portraits of saints and various religious images. The chapel of Kuchuhuasi is considered feminine and has its complement (or its tinkuy) in the chapel of Jullicurca Pacocruz, just 20 minutes walk away.
Kuchuhuasi celebrates his feast the same day of the Immaculate Conception, on December 8, although pressure from evangelical groups are making disappear the holiday.
This church, little known and rarely visited reminds to Marcapata Temple for its thatched roof and mud brick construction, and shares with it the party of REPAJE in which every four or five years they celebrate a communal feast to change all the straw and ropes from their ceiling.
- Location: km 50 of the Interoceanic. At Kuchuhuasi´s community. A 5 minute walk take you to the chapel.
- Admission: You should talk to a villager to allow you the entry to the chapel. There´s no organized service.
- Transfer: From Cusco in a private service should cost around 180 soles.
- Tips: Near the chapel lives Cirila. In her house you can find alpaca textiles and gowns that are used in community´s ceremonies.
Text & Fotos by Iñigo Maneiro (www.bitacora.pe)