Peru is as diverse as it is beautfiul and like many destinations, the people you meet are as much a part of the experience as the sights. The Peruvian highlands, which encompass Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca (and more) are home to indigenous people who keep their traditions alive, providing an important insight into how highland communities live.
A woman photographed in the Andean highlands near Cusco. Here, a large proportion of the local population are Quichua people - one of the dominant indigenous groups across the Andes. Today, they practice subsistence farming often cultivating corn, quinoa and the myriad potato varieties Peru is known for.
A young local in the town of Chincheros, which lies in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Chincheros shows evidence of both Spanish colonial architecture, and traditional Inca sites. Needless to say it is a place brimming with history.
Llamas are a common sight in the Andes, serving their communities as pack animals, helping to transport goods. Their wool is also used to make rope, and clothing, and occassionally they are used for milk and meat too.
Textile production on Lake Titicaca's Taquile Island is a Unesco-recognised tradition. The island's women are responsible for weaving the llama wool, while the men do the delicate knitting, often creating the iconic chuyo hats they are seen wearing across the island.
Potatos are a common foodstuff in Peru - there are over 4000 native varieties. A viable crop for the harsh highland conditions, they are also an integral part of local tradition. It is thought that many potato varieties never get sold in markets. Instead they are traded between communities.
All photos © John Gregson
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