Explaining the international resistance movement of the Q'eros from Peru against encroaching tourism

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This thesis seeks to explain why the Peruvian indigenous community of the Q’eros from Quico resists participation in indigenous and spiritual tourism. Moreover, this thesis seeks to explain the seemingly contradictory nature of this resistance. On the one hand, the village of Quico is located deep in the Andes and does not welcome visitors. On the other hand, several spiritual healers (paqos) from this community travel to Europe to teach their spiritual practices and spread their anti-capitalist ideology. In order to answer these questions, several in-depth interviews were conducted with the Q'eros and their international allies. This thesis understands the tourist industry of the Cusco region as part of a more extensive capitalist system. It found that the industry is dominated by multinational companies and economic elites that profit from the expropriation and commodification of indigenous cultural elements. The Q'eros resist this system to avoid exploitation and the loss of their culture. However, the community does not act united anymore due to increased contact with the outside world and differences in age and skill. Part of the Q'eros resists through isolation. Others resist by building a war of position that is based on the values of anti-materialism, ecocentrism, and collectivism. This thesis adds to the current literature by explaining why an indigenous community would resist participating in tourism, which is often presented as a standard way of poverty alleviation. Moreover, this thesis presents a type of resistance that is imperfect, covert, gradual, and rooted in everyday life
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