people of the lake
On Lake Titicaca, the largest fresh water body in South America, surrounded by the Andean peaks, a native population believed to be a smaller fraction of the Aymara tribe, lives their life on floating islands. Originally constructed as a means to protect themselves from combative Collas and Incas who would have reduced them to slaves, these islands have been created entirely with totora reeds, also used to build homes, boats and crafts.
The Uros refer themselves as "Qhas Qut suñi" which translates to "people of the lake". By asking for someone who speaks the Uruquilla, their original language, I have found out that probably only two grandfathers still do and no one is recording their precious knowledge. In this fabulous environment usurpation by tourism stands out dramatically. While many aspects of the native culture and livelihood of the Uros can be preserved thanks to tourism, too often this same phenomenon nicks their roots deeply by transforming traditions and rituals into a show for a small share, depriving them of their biggest and only immortal richness.