Ancestral water conservation techniques in the andean highlands of Lima, in Peru, were put in practice to deal with climate change and the hydrological crisis. At more than 3,000 meters above sea level, the peasant community of San Pedro de Casta implements this knowledge to guarantee the future of its community and its territory. Inspired by the myths about their territory and the desire to preserve it, double digital exposure tries to condense their knowledge that attached them to their land.
The comuneros dedicate themselves to “planting and harvesting water”, activities that consist of implementing and distributing aquifer systems that capture water in the subsoil when the rains come. Through the construction of “amunas”, a quechua word that means to retain, they obtain water for agriculture and cattle raising.
This is an on-going project that questions how people are focused on maintaining their relationship with their territory in a climate change context.
“Our ancestors mastered these techniques to take care of the water. Now it is more important to recover these traditions to guarantee the harvests”, says Ediliza Calixtro Salinas as she looks at the town of San Pedro de Casta from above.
The decrease in the volume of water coming from the heights makes some water channels remain dry during the summer. San Pedro de Casta Peru
The women of the peasant community wear flowers on their hats, a symbolic link with the land. San Pedro de Casta Peru
They say there was a time when the gods of the mountains communicate to each other with thunders before the rain comes. Sometimes the ancient community member still hear them but not as much as in the past. Digital double exposure. San Pedro de Casta Peru
Tarcila Callupe and Jovita Bautista rest with their work tools. The ancestral system of planting and harvesting water requires continuous care in which everyone participates equally. San Pedro de Casta Peru
Members of the San Pedro de Casta peasant community go to town after a day's work. The season in which there are no rains is adequate to carry out maintenance work on the water channels. San Pedro de Casta Peru
In august 2021, the community built the “cocha” Marcahuasi to use it as a water storage during the dry season. The rock and mud construction will allow the use of rain water for agriculture. San Pedro de Casta Peru
Gregorio Ríos has dedicated most of his life to caring for water and mastering ancestral techniques to capture rainwater for infiltration into the subsoil. "Water is life and it has been abandoned", he says. San Pedro de Casta Peru
Ediliza Calixtro Salinas collects the last corn crop. Much of the stored water is used for agriculture. In San Pedro de Casta broad beans, Andean tubers and some fruits such as avocado and custard apple are also harvested. San Pedro de Casta Peru