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  • Islas Uros

    For hundreds of years, a small community of people has existed on floating islands in the middle of Lake Titicaca.  The Uros people, originally fleeing from Inca invaders 500 years ago, constructed the islands  out of Totora reed, a native plant. Today, the Uros people are surviving and adapting as Peru's burgeoning tourist industry expands and more outsiders visit their floating communities. The reed, which is used as a building material, eaten as food, and is used for medicinal purposes plays a major role in the day-to-day lives of the Uros population. The islands need constant upkeep, and new reeds are continually being added to replace the old plants as they rot away underneath. Despite their unique lifestyle, the Uros people have embraced modern technologies. Many use motorized boats to reach the mainland for supplies, and many homes have access to AM/FM radio, satellite TV, and even solar panel-supplied electricity. (July 2014)