Five Photos: The Faces of Peru

During a shoot on behalf of Peruvian Hearts in conjunction with Photographers Without Borders, I wanted to capture the essence of Peru through the faces I encountered in the Sacred Valley of the Inca. The valley stretches from Cusco to Machu Picchu. It was difficult to narrow down all the portraits I made into just five. The people of Peru carry stories of their lives on their faces. I’ve selected the five. See if you can read their stories.

A vendor tends to her fruits and vegetables stall in Urubamba, Peru.

This woman, purported to be between 100 and 115 years old, attends the market each morning in Urubamba to pick up her daily groceries.

Florcita comes from a very poor family in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the valley that stretches between Cusco and Machu Picchu is a Peruvian Scholar attending Culinary School in Cusco. Peruvian Scholars is a project funded and administered by Peruvian Hearts which allows young women who wish to pursue their education past high school. Current students in the program are studying a wide variety of programs including marketing, business administration, travel and tourism, obstetrics, nursing and heavy equipment operations.

A single mother from Anta, Peru sits in the doorway of her home that leads from her dining room to her outdoor kitchen. Cuy  (guinea pig) is the staple of the Peruvian diet. One must watch where they walk in her home; the guinea pigs have run of the house. There can be as many as twenty adult guinea pigs at a time in her home.

Three boys look through a classroom window as two young women from Peruvian Promise give a presentation of leadership to sixth grade students. Part of Peruvian Hearts mission is for participants of their programs to give back to their communities. One way they accomplish this is by having the girls give presentations on topics such as leadership, empowerment and health.