The mountain and hill slopes of Peru look different from those where I grew up int eh Western United States. Around Cusco and elsewhere in the Andean republic they look quilted from a myriad of small field and foot paths while in my home they are large swaths of uninterrupted space. The difference is that in Peru they slopes have been cultivated continuously for millennia.
Though the slopes are very steep still they contain fields, as if every bit of land were valuable for producing food and sustenance. You can see the boundaries marking families’ plots and some days you will see men and women working them, using a foot plow, a chaquitaqlla, to turn the earth and plant seed. Read the rest of this entryby