A place steeped in history
To visit Hacienda Huayoccari is to participate in the history of this corner of the world. From pre-Columbian times to the present day, this place has endured as an agricultural and cultural hub. Thousands of years ago, its inhabitants depicted camelid hunting on rocks. Later, the Incas’ agricultural and hydraulic knowledge allowed them to transform this part of the Vilcanota River valley into an ideal land for the most coveted crop of all: white corn, which became the fuel for the expansion of the Inca empire.
The Lambarri Orihuela family
During the Colony these crops were grown in estates, or haciendas. The Huayoccari estate once comprised four thousand hectares of mountains, lakes and farmland. Don José Orihuela Yábar - whose family had been landowners in the Sacred Valley since the 18th century - purchased it from the Montes de Peralta family in 1916. The patriarch Don José Orihuela became a pioneer in white corn exportation, as well as mayor of Urubamba, congressman for the region and columnist in several Lima newspapers. He was also a passionate art collector. His daughter María Cristina Orihuela and her husband, Jesús Lambarri, kept this legacy alive, in agriculture, politics, art and philanthropy. Jesús Lambarri created the white corn farmers cooperative for the exportation of this crop. He was mayor of the Cusco province council and departmental director of the regional chapter of the National Culture Institute. But, above all, he continued to make the family art collection and library available to those who shared his passion for Peruvian history and art. Now his children - Don José Orihuela’s grandchildren - are the keepers of this legacy.
Change and continuity
The agrarian reformation undertaken by Juan Velasco Alvarado’s military regime reduced the property from four thousand hectares to forty. The respectful relationship the family had always had with the peasant community allowed them to keep part of the land; the majority of estates in the country were less fortunate. Thus, the Lambarri Orihuela family was able to continue farming corn, and does so until today. More than twenty years ago, when tourism in the Sacred Valley was new, the family decided to open its doors to travelers and visitors, allowing them to experience the art of authentic hospitality in the hands of a traditional Peruvian family.