Back to
Photo by Tom Pablo, South America Semester.

Machu Picchu and the Andean Cosmovision

The mountains and landscapes of the Andes is a visceral lesson on how the descendants of the Inca- and Pre-Inca cultures viewed the natural world around us.  The Andean worldview, or cosmovision, is one that is defined by 3 basic principles.

1. Everything in the universe has a pair.
2. Nothing can be taken without giving something in return.
3. A person’s well-being depends on a community of other people and the health of the earth (pacha).

From this perspective, every mountain, every blade of grass, and every human action are all interconnected.  It is no wonder that the Andean people viewed everything in nature with reverence – from mountains (apus), to lakes (cocha), to the living cosmos (kawsay pacha).

This view of the world resonates strongly with the way I see how the landscape and earth around us affects our own well-being, and inspires me to partake more actively in my own reciprocity to the earth.