Throughout the spring of 2009 I have been traveling in Peru, writing and photographing along the way. One of the primary purposes for my visit was to work with Awamaki, a textile project based in Ollantaytambo, a town of great historical importance high in the Andes. While staying in the village of Patacancha, where Awamaki's weavers live, I collectected enthnographic information on the village, including biographies of the weavers and documentation of animal husbandry in the area. For information on the incredibly rich Andean textile tradition and Awamaki's work to preserve and support it, visit the Weavers of Patacancha page.
I also will be teaming up with International Rivers to document the Ene River Valley in Peru's Amazonian Basin, and the tribe that live there. Right now a Brazilian company is planning to build a series of 18 dams to produce hydroelecticity, flooding major portions of the ancestral territory. They live in some of the most pristine and biological diverse forests on Earth. The are an indigeous tribe who in the past few decades have had to combat a host of invadors, including illegal loggers, oil companies, cocaine traffickers, and the Sendoso Luminoso, the Maoist rebels who terrorized Peru during the 80's and early 90's.
Before arriving in Patacancha, I took the typical though stunning tourist route from the ancient Incan capital of Cusco through the Sacred Valley, visiting Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu, and have included photo galleries and essays on some of those experiences as well.
Following my time in the highlands, I visited Peru's North Coast, one of the world's most exciting archeaological zones.
Since arriving here I have discovered that Peru is one of the great places in the world to experience the tremendous cultural and biological heritage of the world. Peru is home to hundreds of vibrant indigenous communties, descended from some of the most prolific ancient civilizations of the Americas (of which the Incas are just one,) as well as a unique and tumultous colonial history. Peru also has more than its fair share of geological superlatives, including: more rainforest than almost any country in the world (after Brazil and the DR of Congo) including the headwaters of the Amazon; one of the world's great mountain chains, the Andes; the most abundant fishing waters in the world, some of the driest land on Earth; active volcanoes; the world's deepest canyons; the world's highest navigable lake; the world's largest city inaccessible by road (Iquitos); and the world's second largest desert city, the capital of Lima.