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Our photo gallery gives an insider's perspective of what life is like at 12,000 feet.
Ayni (eye-knee) is the fundamental principle of Andean life. Ayni is a form of sacred reciprocity between individuals, families, neighbors and communities. Ayni is a pay-it-forward model in which one gives without an expectation of something in return, knowing that all beings live in an interconnected web and everyone’s needs will be taken care of. Ayni also recognizes that Pachamama, or Mother Earth, provides food, water, shelter, and all the essentials to one’s survival and wellbeing through plants, animals, lakes, clouds, and other aspects of nature. In return, one gives back to Mother Earth -- prayers, appreciation, gifts, and stewardship. Read more about the spiritual life of the Q'ero.
The Smithsonian exhibit The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire explores Andean cultures, the cosmology and political organization of the Inka world, and the legacy of the Inka Empire during the colonial period and in the present day.