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Santa Clara University Archives :: Exhibits :: Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos :: Quinoa in the Tiwanaku Valley
University Archives - Urban Dreams / Suenos Urbanos - Rural Bolivia on the High Plains - Quinoa in the Tiwanaku Valley
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Quinoa in the Tiwanaku Valley
  Quinoa in the Tiwanaku Valley, 1996
Early morning light illuminates this colorful crop of quinoa, one of the most nutritious foods in the Andes. Archaeological records show that the Tiwanaku valley, known as the heartland of the Aymara speaking people, has been inhabited since 200 BC. Local people continue to live in adobe houses and subsist on the land their ancestors cultivated for hundreds of years before them. As in times past, rural people have depended upon their family members and neighbors (their community) to run the farms and provide for each other in times of need. Within the past fifty years the rural ways of life have increasingly become more dependent upon market prices for their produce in the city. Today there is not enough cultivable land to support everyone who lives in the countryside (campo), and in order to find work and sustenance, people are drawn to the many opportunities provided by the city experience. The capital city of Bolivia, La Paz, is close to these rural valleys, and has become the home to many Aymara speaking people who have migrated there in the past few decades to find a new life.
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