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  • The Rainbow Mountain, or Vinicuna.

    The Rainbow Mountain, or Vinicuna. | Photo: @traveltoperu

Published 5 May 2018

Accommodations for tourists has also led to the destruction of a nearby wetland visited by migrating ducks.

Peru’s Rainbow mountain, or Vinicunca, is being threatened by the actions of tourist and a Canadian-based mining company, Camino Minerals Corporation, which recently applied for mining rights in the region.

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The Andean, which is mountain striped with turquoise, yellow, red and purple colors is visited by 1,000 tourists, who climb to the peak every day.

The colorful mountain, which has mineral sediments that date back to millions of years, provides an important source of income for the people who live in the nearby Pampachiri community and now work guiding tourists and selling horseback rides.  

Every year the community makes around US$ 400,000. However, unsustainable practices might lead to the destruction of the profitable landscape.

Environmentalists have already reported damage to the four-kilometer hiking path, which shows signs of erosion, according to Peruvian biologist Dina Farfan, who told the Associated Press “they are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.”

Accommodations for tourists has also led to the destruction of a nearby wetland visited by migrating ducks, which was turned into a massive park.

The tourist attraction was discovered only five years ago since according to local Indigenous communities the mountain used to be covered by snow. Santos Machaca, a tour guide told the AP “we asked the elders who live Pitumarca, and they said the mountain had snow before… Global warming caused the ice to melt, and the colorful mountain appeared below.”

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