We, the women of the Uros Islands, live on floating surfaces that we have made with totora, a plant that grows on the shores of Lake Titikaka, in Peru. This plant is the basis of our way of life, it feeds us and we build our houses and our means of transport with it. Everything we have is ephemeral and our community has lived on what the lake provides for centuries. It is easy to feel far away from the earth, in spite of that, we connect with our nature.
"You, the woman who lives on the lake, rest your feet on your totora island; become strongly rooted; let them grow and reach the depths; feel how the crystal clear water penetrates them, climbs up your legs and floods your heart. Lift your arms, as if they were the branches of a tree and gently shake them. Let the sun caress them, let the birds rest on them and feel how they rise to the sky. You, tree woman , are united with the earth.
Written by Virginia Méndez
Translated and pic by Noèlia Ribó.