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Chivay, Peru

Life in the Colca Valley

Story by everything's a photo August 27th, 2014

8AM CHIVAY, PERU.

It’s a brisk winter morning, and the sun is just starting to warm up the town centre.

Sitting at 3700 metres above sea level, this altiplano town can get a little chilly at night during winter, but once the sun is shining it can burn. Sitting in the Colca valley, Chivay is surrounded by volcanos and vast desert plains filled with herds of vicuñas and alpacas. With a population of just 5000, the town gives a real taste of local Peruvian life.

As the town comes to life, women scurry through the streets with bags full of groceries, workers wait by street pavements for their morning commute out of town to nearby farms and children hang off the backs of women strapped into slings.

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The Mercado Andino (main central market) is a melting pot of the modern and traditional, with women in traditional Quechua dress, and men sporting handsome sombreros, mobile phones and internet cafes, coca leaves alpaca wool, DVDs and mobile recharging.

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The surrounding streets feature quite contemporary, colourful statues - showing off Peru’s traditional dress and legendary folklore characters.

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Footnote: Photos taken in August 2014 by Dave and Lotte de la Pena at www.everythingsaphoto.com
Colca Canyon, Chivay, Arequipa, Peru