Following the Salty Source

Written by Chaqchao Staff

Authentic. Local. Fair. These words are easy to tout, but many businesses fail to define how they accomplish them. Used together, these words (and more) are simple marketing magic. Like hashtags on Twitter, they’re trendy.

DSC02857As such, on my recent trip to Cuzco, I wanted to learn more. Chaqchao uses ingredients only found in Peru. One such ingredient is salt. Not sea salt, but salt which is collected from an ancient saline stream found in the Urubama Valley, just an hour outside Cuzco.

DSC02944DSC02932Long ago, before the Incas even, this saline stream was captured. The inventive evidence can still be seen today. Man-made pans follow the arch of the small valley. From the dirt path, which leads travelers up the (very steep) hill from the village of Maras, hundreds of pans can be seen capturing the subterranean water. Once these pans fill up, the water begins to evaporate. Local families, some who have owned the pans for centuries, come and collect the salt crystals. Together, they own a cooperative to sell the salt. The same cooperative that Chaqchao buys from.

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Salineras de Maras is just one example of Chaqchao’s promise to invest within. If you’re near the Incan capitol of Cuzco, you should visit, too! The S/7 entrance fee goes directly to the families that work and live there.DSC02986

–Anna

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One Comment on “Following the Salty Source

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