It was a privilege to spend some time with a Quechua family in Peru’s mountainous Pampallacta region. Most Quechua are farming families, spending much time outdoors in harsh conditions. Women constantly spin wool, even as they effortlessly walk up and down the steep mountain paths, children on their back. Their products are then sold at the Sunday market.
The children are a happy lot - and in soccer-mad Peru, school breaks mean soccer time, with some serious soccer matches played on the edge of mountainsides.
I felt quite sad to think that while the word 'Quechua' is reasonably well known, it's more on account of its being a popular sporting apparel brand rather than in association with these wonderful, hardworking and proud Andean people.
AUTHOR: Shyamala Thilagaratnam (Singapore)
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