Monday, October 19

The floating city

While in Puno we visited los Uros, an indigenous community that lives on floating islands it's people have created in the middle of Lake Titicaca.

We paid $3 for the boat ride out to the islands, and a welcome party was waiting to show us around. One man gave us an explanation of the island culture, its history and life today.

In the picture below, the island host is showing us how the floating islands are created using blocks of soil and dried reeds. 
These same reeds they often eat for medicinal reasons--to calm nausea or a headache. I tried the reeds and could see that with a little bit of sugar it would be pretty tasty.
Then we looked around at the many weavings for sale. Soon they took us on a ride in a boat just like this. 

Instead of these straw boats, many Uros now have access to a speed boat to take the hour-long trip to Puno. 

Our boat ride took us to another island, complete with tourist shops, two small restaurants and a lookout. 

Their ancestors fished for their livelihood. Today's Uros fish as well, but they have also turned their floating city into a big tourist attraction. Now many homes have solar power to run their TVs and radios.  

This great 12-minute video from LinkTV gives you a look at the island culture we visited. It talks about how nonprofit ProMujer helped a Uro woman grow her business through a micro business loan. 

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