Target: Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova
Goal: Thank UNESCO for granting World Heritage status to a historic South American road system
A system of roads built by the Inca Empire connecting six South American countries has recently been given World Heritage status by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), protecting it and funding its restoration. The Qhapaq Nan roads link fertile valleys, mountains, deserts and rainforests across South America.
The 18,600 miles of road run north-south and up the peaks of the Andes, previously unifying the vast Inca Empire. The structure and planning of the roads provide a huge insight into the organization and vision of advanced ancient Incan society.
This Andean wonder was used for trade and defense across all six countries through which it snakes and was also used to carry Conquistadors in the 16th century. Archeologists believe the road was used to keep Machu Picchu supplied, and it has boasted pre-Inca Andean culture for over 2,000 years.
Much of the route has deteriorated and is now hidden by vegetation, but thanks to its new World Heritage status, the roadway is now eligible for restoration funding. The six countries that share the route—Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador and Chile—have all promised to do their part to preserve and protect these historic roads from further deterioration. This new listing includes 273 sites selected for political, social, religious and architectural and engineering achievements along the route.
Thank UNESCO for preserving this incredible historic site by adding the Incan road system to its list of protected areas.
Dear Irina Bokova,
The Qhapaq Nan road system runs 18,600 miles through six countries, carrying over 2,000 years of history. It connects fertile valleys, mountain ranges, desert and rainforest. Thanks to its new status as a World Heritage site, it is now eligible for the funding needed to restore hundreds of years of deterioration. Large sections of the roads are so overgrown with foliage that they are almost completely hidden.
The new status is also likely to improve tourism in the area, raising the local economy. Thankfully, all six of the countries through which the roads wind have agreed to do their part to protect and preserve this massive and important piece of our history.
I applaud your decision to protect, preserve and hopefully fund the restoration of the Qhapaq Nan roads.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Martin St-Amant via Wikimedia Commons