*The five photos in this blog from our cleanup project were provided courtesy of Terrapin Blue
Local tourism leader Rogers Valencia Espinoza addresses the gathering. Tourism Cares CEO Bruce Beckham is shown at right.
Our whirlwind adventure in Peru was wrapped up with a boisterous welcome back to Cusco for a cleanup project at Mercado San Pedro, a major downtown market in this mountain city. Following official welcomes from local tourism leaders and remarks by Tourism Cares CEO Bruce Beckham, we got started.
Tourism Cares teams supplemented by lots of local volunteers addressed numerous facilities at this busy park. Some crews painted light poles, while others painted kiosks. Other groups went to work painting the marketplace’s exterior walls, while others painted and filled flower pots that had long ago become filled with trash. We worked hard for a couple of hours before taking a wonderful lunch break that included sandwiches and the local specialty, Peruvian corn on the cob. These ears of corn feature huge kernals–some the size of marbles–and are served hot. All of us were hooked on this local delicacy by the time we left the country.
That afternoon, we went back to work and put second coats on many items and did a lot of trim work around railings and windows. Our video crew, Terrapin Blue, out of Athens, Georgia, got lots of great video of the event, plus many stills. Since I was working, I did not shoot any photos of this event and want to give thanks to Ryan and Jill Kelly, the company’s owners, for sending these shots for this final blog.
About 40 Tourism Cares volunteers from the U.S. participated in the restoration
This passerby wore a typical tall hat that offers protection from the sun’s rays in Cusco, which sits at 11,000 feet elevation in the Andes
Volunteers of all ages donned painting gloves and went to work to restore the city marketplace
Many prominent travel industry companies were sponsors of Tourism Cares’ first international project