I thought history wasn’t for kids. I thought it wasn’t for me either. Even my husband will say how much he loathed history classes in school.The Inca Palace ruins in Peru teach us something different. History is more than a faded photograph, or a story in a book. History is alive. It is all around us and it is beautiful. History is tangible and touchable, and dare I say lovable. History is a lot like art. It is about perspectives and interpretations, even imagination and creativity.
This is the Inca Palace known as Vilcashuaman. Or at least that is the name of the village where it was found. It is located in a small remote village of the Peruvian sierras. The town is literally built on top of it and all around it. To get here, was a story for history itself. Crazy, intense hours of muddy, desolate roads. Very little in the way of infrastructure or modernity.
The locals looked at us with wonder and amazement, perhaps confused on how on earth we had arrived. Stunned that we knew of it’s existence. Thrilled that we had come to visit. They asked us if our hair was painted, if the sun hurts our light skin, and if we speak the language of Castilians.
These are lesser known ruins. They are free to explore. There are no guides, no pamphlets, no billboards. The history was up to us to decide. We wanted to know so much more, and we did research later. But, in the moments it was fun to explore without holding any knowledge. To let the kids imagine what this place was, who had lived here before.
We let me them devour these ruins in whatever way was meaningful to them. We never told them to be quiet in this sacred place. We never told them couldn’t touch, climb, or explore. Here, in this special place there are no rules or limitations. It doesn’t belong to anyone to offer delegations. It is a place for one and all, young and old, serious and curious. To enjoy and cherish in the ways that they choose.
Our children chose to play hide and seek. Hiding in the shadows, whispering through the crevices, and calling out into the canyons. They laughed and squealed, pretending to be knights and emperors.
This place is not one that they will leave behind bored and forgotten. Instead, it is the palace from history that they touched and absorbed.These are the people that hugged them and squeezed them, and thanked them for simply being blissful children. This is a history that they have lived and a trend worth repeating!