DAY 5, NOVEMBER 1, 2007
Today we left the capital and the coastal zone of Peru and traveled to the altiplano, a high plain which extends between the two chains of the Andes, the Western range and the main chain known as the Eastern range.
We took a morning flight to the city of Juliaca. On arrival, we drank mate de coca in the airport to help us to acclimatize to the almost 4,000 meters of elevation, and then traveled on to Puno by bus.
Puno is situated on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. According to legend, Manco Capac, the first Inca, emerged from the waters of the lake to found the Inca Empire, following the orders of the sun god. Presently Puno is the capital of the province of the same name and is an important centre of an area dedicated to agricultural and cattle-raising activities.
In the afternoon the Puno Cusco Corridor Project presented their project, an initiative committed to the development of the capacities and initiatives of poor rural families. It is collaboration between the government of Peru, through MIMDES – Foncodes, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
We heard the testimony of Lula Pari, a young Aymará woman—the powerful culture which historically dominated the region--regarding her experience with savings. Together with 20 other woman from Huantacachi Chila, a community 54 kilometers from Puno, Lula saves an average of 40 soles each month in a program called Rural Woman Savers, a product developed in conjunction between the Los Andes Rural Savings and Credit Union and the Puno – Cusco Corridor Project, to promote savings by rural women in the formal financial system. Lula saves so that she can study and also to help her family buy more cattle.
Later we were invited to attend a dance presentation in the city’s Cultural Centre. We watched typical dances from the Puno area, whose culture is regarded as one of the richest and most colourful in Peru.
More Photos from the Path