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What is next? A Roller Coaster to the Temple of the Moon?

Click to learn more about
Cuzco from Lonely Planet
Click to learn more about traveling in Cuzco, Peru. Visit the Lonely Planet.
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Coming to Cuzco is like stepping back in time-you can walk down colonial streets past ancient stone walls built by the Incas. But, in another sense, it's like being in America. Cuzco is the largest tourist site on the continent. That means that it's full of Americans, Israelis, and Europeans. They even have movies in English! Tourism brings money to Peru, which helps Peruvians live better lives, but it can also change the culture and the environment that tourists come to see. Some of these changes can be good, and some of them can cause harm.

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Professor David Centeno is helping to organize a huge protest against the construction of a Machu Picchu gondola.
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If they put a roller coaster on the Temple of the Moon, would you ride it? Next month, the government is letting a company build a cable car from the town of Aguas Calientes to the historic site of Machu Picchu. The cable car will make getting to the site much easier for tourists, and give them a good view of the river valley below. It would be as if a company built a cable car across the Grand Canyon.

What do you think it will do for the people of Peru? What will it do to their environment? The people of the Cuzco area, especially the students and all of the best-know Incan scholars, are trying to stop this project. They claim that it will damage this sacred spot.

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Map of the Macchu Pichu area.

So here we are, tourists from all over the world, traveling from far away to visit this amazing site. Yet, just by coming, we are forever changing the place we come to see. Does that mean we should not come? I don't think so, but we must be careful to treat other countries and cultures with respect. Do you agree?

Abeja

Monica, Waterworld, or the Floating People of the Lake
 
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