Nicholas & Lucia Flores Aoaza from the Q'ero NationQ'ero Nation of Peru
The Q'ero Nation is situated at one day on horseback from the road to Paucartambo in Cusco and it is the oldest in the Inca Tradition. They live at 4,300 meters of altitude in the Peruvian Andes. They grow potatoes, olluco, oca (types of Andean potatoes). This is what they eat. They have a school for children between the ages of 7-14. Medical assistance is scarce. They work and live as a community of about 800 people. They marry among them and have kept their customs alive since the Inca times.
The main activity of the Q'ero people, besides agriculture, is weaving. They use natural dyes for their wool. Their techniques and designs are considered to be the closest to those of their ancestors. Their weavings have been shown at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
The Q'ero believe that they are descended from the Inca and consider themselves the last descendants. According to tradition, their ancestors defended themselves from invading Spanish conquistadores with the aid of local mountain deities (Apu) that devastated a Spanish Army near Wiraquchapampa.
The religion of the Q'ero is syncretic, consisting of a mixture of European Christianity with elements of the traditional religion of the Andes. Shamans of different levels (Altumisayuq, Pampamisayuq) still have a high reputation. They worship Mother Nature (Pachamama) as well as other mountain spirits like Apu Ausangate (Apu Awsanqati) and other regional dieties.