Located within the Nor Yauyos Landscape Reserve, on rugged terrain in the capital Lima, is the town of Huaquis with its most representative remains of the culture that lived in the area in those years, its streets and houses intact, as well as its Colonial temple with a bell tower made entirely of stones.
Huaquis is the town of Miraflores, located at an altitude of 3800 meters above sea level. Its name Huaquis means "Old Warrior", its location on top of the mountain, from where people can have a spectacular view of the Cañete River Valley. The buildings that can be seen in the area and their wear are clear witnesses of the passage of time, as well as their slow destruction.
According to history, at the beginning of the year 1903, the town of Huaquis was abandoned by all its inhabitants, and the fact is that the location of the town was located in an inaccessible place, therefore, it was very difficult to acquire elemental resources, such as Water. Although they had very fertile and productive land, they decided to move to the lower part of the valley, thus founding the town of Miraflores. It is worth mentioning that the Spanish did not manage to reach these lands.
At present, in the area a very enviable vegetation can be seen, which is compared to the time lived by the inhabitants of the Yauyos culture, shortly after the Inca Empire was incorporated.
The greatest attraction to appreciate in Huaquis is its Church, despite the fact that part of it was destroyed over time, the church is the greatest pride of the area, inside you can see the walls adorned with remains of what would have been the pulpit and some finely carved crevices. As we already mentioned, the town was abandoned, therefore, the vegetation grew uncontrollably, making mobility within it a bit difficult.
Huaquis is located exactly 4 kilometers from the district of Miraflores, in the northern part of the province of Yauyos, department of Lima.
Huaquis means "Old Warrior"
Its location and Traditional Inca Construction is a rugged but strategic place due to the demands of a climatic and warlike Watchtower, due to the same demands of being a bellicose people and above all inalienably indomitable to lose their autonomy and freedom in the face of Inca imperial domination (so it is explained that the huaquisinos preserved their primitive language, a dialect of Cauqui), they made Huaquis a City-Watchtower, Town-fortress of stone and mud, whose streets and square have the mark of a Machupicchu, today abandoned and in slow destruction, it is mute witness of the passage of time.
The Spanish colonialist Offensive wreaked havoc in the Andean towns, disrupted their culture, religion, agrarian customs and, above all, decimated the population. Thus Huaquis isolated himself, plunged into a sleepy stillness, sunk into oblivion; of a communal, progressive and hard-working town, it came to be relegated quite a bit. But the flame was alive. In the nocturnal conversations lit by the wood from the stove in the kitchens or by the auquénidos bait lighters, our grandparents were maturing, year after year, their myth of moving the town of Huaquis to a flat place, where there was no shortage of water; This is how Miraflores was born. It should be noted that Miraflores is the work of the Huaquisinos much more than the residents of that time, from 1903, having as Leader the Huaquisino Patriarch Gregorio Dávila. The New Town lives on two patrimonies; of huaquisinismo and the Residents; Residents who in one way or another have collaborated in the progress of Huaquis in its transfer to Miraflores.
The Yanacancha-Huaquis area is included in the new list of 25 heritage sites of extraordinary cultural importance in the world by the 2022 World Monuments Watch.
For some it is known as the “Miraflores above”, in allusion to the mesocratic Lima resort of the same name. For others it is known as the "ghost town" of Huaquis. The truth is that it is one of the places with the greatest landscape impact in the Nor Yauyos-Cochas Reserve, which covers the mountains of Lima and Junín.
The Yanacancha-Huaquis area is located in the Miraflores district, Yauyos province (Lima), very close to Vilcas, Huancaya, and its famous lagoons with turquoise waters that seem to be placed on gigantic steps surrounded by mountains.
To get to Miraflores, from the coast, it is best to take the highway that ascends through Lunahuaná to the heights of Yauyos. Shortly after passing the Tinco intersection, there is the detour that takes us off the highway and takes us to the town of Miraflores, after traveling a short stretch of a road built into the very stone walls of the mountain. From Miraflores you can continue to the heights (southbound) and we will arrive at the "ghost town" of Huaquis, where you can still identify the ancient stone Catholic chapel and other public buildings of what could have been one of the reductions with which the Viceroy Francisco Álvarez de Toledo (1569–1581) forever changed the cultural landscape of Tawantinsuyu to make it Peru today.
Always from the town of Miraflores, what draws attention are the hundreds of terraces (just over 70 hectares) that transformed the agricultural landscape of the area. Its cultural landscape also integrates the pre-Inca dams and channels of Yanacancha, which served for the hydraulic control of the enormous altiplanic lagoons.
As is known, the Yanacancha dams and canals were used to store, filter, purify and transport water for human, agricultural and animal consumption. According to the support of the WMW, the ancient town of Huaquis would be the human settlement supplied by this water source. Both constructions were erected by the Yauyos culture between the 10th and 14th centuries.
For World Monuments Watch, the Yanacancha-Huaquis cultural landscape is an example of ancestral technologies for water management that were developed since pre-Inca times and that, at present, have regained relevance as they are an innovative solution to deal with the climate change impacts. This space is also an important symbol of identity for current Miraflores and an outstanding example of the technology used by their ancestors.
For this reason, and within the framework of the project 'Escalating adaptation based on mountain ecosystems', the Mountain Institute, in alliance with the rural community of Miraflores, the Municipality of Miraflores (de Yauyos) and the Nor Yauyos-Landscape Reserve Cochas (administered by Sernanp), presented the application of this site to WMW 2022.