Today, we went high into the mountains to a very small town that subsists by the men being porters on the Inca Trail and the women weaving and taking care of the families. The entire village seemed to come out to greet us and we had the great fortune to be able to visit with one family who was close to our Peruvian guide, Aurelio.
The family also raises Guinea Pigs and eats them about twice a month as an important source of protein.
The girls learn to weave at very young ages.
The photo on the right shows a mother carrying her young daughter. Babies are carried in sack-like shawls on the mother’s back. When the babies grow older, they are carried – as this mother is doing.
The babies are swirled around if they need to be nursed or comforted, and then swirled around to the back again so the mother can work. Women will spin alpaca yarn as they talk and even as they walk.