During my time in The Sacred Valley I had the privilege to stay with the Ojeda Huillca family. Upon my arrival Henry, my roommate, and I were surprised to walk through a bodega (corner store), chicken coop, and chakra (farm) before arriving at our room. We were escorted upstairs and were left to unpack before we had our first lunch, with our host family. The room was large enough for two twin beds, a desk, and a dresser to hold all of our clothing. The wooden floor often creaked, the walls were a dim pink, and there was a window that bolstered a beautiful view of the snowcapped Andes mountains. The Ojeda Huillca family consisted of six members, Rosaulo the father, Rosita the mother, Christian the oldest brother is fourteen, Bryan the youngest brother is nine, Dorita the oldest sister is seven, and Camilla the youngest sister is three. All members of the family contributed to daily activities as often as possible. Rosita cooked more often than most other family members, however, if she was unavailable Rosaulo, or Bryan would step up and cook the meal. The most influential dinner was cooked by Bryan. Both Rosaulo and Rosita were out and Bryan, nine years old, cooked Dinner for myself, twenty-five, and Henry, twenty. When Rosita or Rosaulo were preoccupied, he would also watch over their bodega. Their other son, Christian, went to school in the neighboring city Urubamba, due to no secondary schools in their city, Ollantaytambo. Because of this we would only see him on the weekends. The two youngest, Dorita and Camilla, would often be around the house doing various activities. From helping in the kitchen to helping on the chakra all members, exception Camilla who is three, contributed to the well-being of the house. It was a very unique situation to be a part of and I was very happy that I was able to stay with a family that works together to sustain their livelihood. The various businesses they had were owning multiple chakras, a self-made gas station, a bodega, and a taxi service all contributed to how this family is able to thrive in Ollantaytambo.

– Written by Robert Lonergan

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