Cumbemayo: where Nature and Technology Meet

Yesterday I accompanied the volunteers on a trip to Cumbemayo. 3550 MASL and 20 km Southwest of Cajamarca, Cumbemayo is thought to be one of the oldest man-made structures in South America.

Its name, from the quechua kumpi mayu, means thin river, and the place dates back to 1500 BC and was built by an advanced pre-Incan society.

Towering above Cumbemayo are Los Frailones, massive volcanic pillars that can measure up to 18 m, and have probably been carved by the strong wind and rain.

To slow down and moderate the rhythm of the waters, a system of canals was built.

Moreover, a 9 km long aqueduct was carved in volcanic rock to divert the water from the fields and redirect it to cultivation fields.

Some stone engravings, which meaning is still unknown, can also be found scattered around the area.

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