Portrait of “Paqo” Andres.
For centuries, Andres’ people have inhabited one of Peru’s most remote mountain regions. The Paqo’s of Hatun Q’ero, who act as the community’s spiritual leaders and knowledge keepers are becoming fewer with the passing of time. The younger generations are no longer interested in their ancestors way of life. National and international mining operations spread like wildfire, taking its toll on this incredibly remote community and the surrounding mountains. It’s a delicate situation. Insufficient government aid, rapid modernization and enticement from various mining companies’ deep pockets to sell off the land are effectively snuffing out this long preserved culture.