One of the joys of my career is I never know what I will find around the next corner of the street or bend in the road.

 

On my second day in Peru, staying in the village of Urubamba, we took a road that snaked through the hills just outside town.

 

Farms, terraced hills, random livestock, the hills are full of a life not much different than it would have been one hundred years ago or more.

 

You can imagine how my jaw dropped when I saw this young girl, with her halo of flowers.

 

More than from a different place, she (and her little brother) were from a different place and time.  At that age I barely let my little girls handle the TV remote control,  let alone go off on a journey down a winding hillside road loaded down with a large clay pot on their back.

 

Everyday I’m so thankful that I get to discover the world in all its endless and fascinating diversities and similarities.

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72 comments

  1. Judith A.

    April 15, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Today I feel you gave me a present.
    Thank you!

  2. Judith A.

    April 15, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Today you gave me a present.
    Thank you!

  3. Sukie

    April 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I enjoy the touch of the folded over sweater cuff,, too. That flower halo is a visual gift.

    That time is not so very distant in most of the USA. She looks maybe six or seven? Growing up in the 1950s on Long Island in NYS I used to walk to town to get groceries from a little store which had a butcher and bring them home, or go in the opposite direction to reach a farm stand for some of the items which we did not grow ourselves at home with each being something like a half mile to a quarter mile in each direction, and I had chores at my aunt and uncles’ poultry farm during busy times as well as gardening and household chores. By eight I was preparing one or more suppers each week, and walking miles further from home.

    It was not until the 1980s that most parents became as fearfully protective as today, and children had far more unstructured time then for engaging their imaginations and learning to self-start and experiment. We have heard many professors in the sciences and some in the arts say that the numbers of imaginative students has decreased while the regimentation has increased.

    Some will say life was safer then, but the opposite was true. Without the protective vaccines of today, with less safe vehicles, no seat belts let alone child car seats, higher numbers of dangerous products in use in homes, etc. it was just normal for any children of my time to know other children who had died and others who were seriously injured by diseases. And, yes, there were adults who preyed on children then, too, but I think the difference is that adults felt like a reported horrifying event that was not local was further afield than adults today do.

    • MollyBloom

      April 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Absolutely agree with you! I and my husband grew up in the 70′s, and we played outside, unsupervised, in the woods, in the creek, on the streets, in vacant lots, all day long! Today this is treated as child neglect. I also suspect that the rise of heavy schedules of team sports for children has very much to do with providing a way for kids to play outdoors, though surrounded by a phalanx of credentialed adults, and confined to a comparatively tiny, and featureless (though so safe!) geographic area. This must create a very different mental and emotional orientation for children today than children who grew up three or four decades ago. I really do not know what children today do for adventure, or what they are permitted to explore for themselves. I think we must learn to accept just a tiny bit of risk, so that they can experience more freedom. They will be better people for it. [Steps off soapbox]

      • Anna

        April 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm

        I grew up in the Indian countryside in the 80′s . We played outdoors unsupervised, explored woods, ran barefoot through rough terrain, read books, caught fish in streams, climbed trees, applied crushed herbs on small wounds and insect bites, fed chickens, and ate fruit straight from trees. When I was telling about my formative years to a friend, he exclaimed that it was abuse, neglect and endangerment! And I am so grateful I got that kind of rough and tumble childhood.

        I feel sorry for the kids whose childhood memories consist/ will consist largely of playing video games and watching television. Among other things I think it’s partly due to suburban life in limited spaces, and partly due to the broad definition of child abuse and the rise of strict protective services where parents can be hauled up for injuries that a child can sustain while playing. Also, everyone seems more fearful these days.

        I don’t think I would let my kids explore woods unsupervised, and I cannot imagine letting them run around without footwear. Anyways, I survived childhood without any major mishaps and some wonderful memories.

  4. Paulina

    April 15, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Beautiful shot! Perú is magical

    Saludos desde Chile

  5. Simbarashe

    April 15, 2014 at 10:12 am

    This is brilliant, and I’m happy to see your work rounding back into form.
    http://lordashbury.com

  6. Shade of Red Blog

    April 15, 2014 at 10:18 am

    What a great shot!
    http://shadeofredblog.com

  7. Ximena

    April 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Gorgeous photo!!! Peru is such a beautifull country

  8. Jill

    April 15, 2014 at 10:20 am

    This may be one of the loveliest shots you’ve taken…ever. (Or at least in a really long time, IMO). Thanks for sharing it!

  9. Jill

    April 15, 2014 at 10:21 am

    This may be one of the loveliest shots you’ve taken…ever (or in a really long time, IMO). Thanks for sharing it!

  10. Mario

    April 15, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Very nice photo. Brings to mind Cuzco Children by Irving Penn.

  11. almu

    April 15, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Fantastic pict!
    almu
    http://www.mavieenroseblog.com/

  12. lindy702

    April 15, 2014 at 10:36 am

    …One of your best..!

  13. Jen

    April 15, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Absolutely beautiful!

    http://www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

  14. Eva

    April 15, 2014 at 11:03 am

    What a beautiful photo and these kids look so pure and colorful. Amazing

    http://www.creativityandchocolate.com

  15. elena

    April 15, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Gorgeous shot! Everything on this photo is magical, their outfits, stunning background and lighting!
    http://dcinstyle.com

  16. JudyMac

    April 15, 2014 at 11:16 am

    That is one beautiful picture!

  17. Guy Overboard

    April 15, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Love the contrast of colours. And the AUTHENTICITIES of the children.

    http://www.guyoverboard.com

  18. Denisa

    April 15, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Very nice pic.
    xx
    http://www.fashiondenis.com/

  19. Shantella

    April 15, 2014 at 11:31 am

    To know that these children genuinely dressed that way naturally is so aesthetically pleasing!

    Best wishes and thanks for always sharing lovely experiences with us!

    http://www.thebuddhaqueen.com

  20. supal {chevrons & éclairs}

    April 15, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I love all your travel captures. The halo of flowers is such an observant look!

    http://www.chevronsandeclairs.com

  21. Vessel

    April 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I’m reading a Bible on Che Guevara, Peru was one of his favourite countries. Seeing your pictures, it’s clear to see why! Can’t wait to visit.

    On an unrelated note, your recent comments are a *glorious* reminder to wonder.

    Thank you!

  22. Lola O

    April 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Sart, each pic from Peru is more jaw-dropping than the last! Amazing. I love this one. These children have such innocence about them but at the same time they look cheeky and savvy, and very secure. The clothing is out of this world. It makes me think Marc Jacobs dressed them :)

    J’adore, j’adore!

  23. Dominique

    April 15, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Just thank you. Cette photo est magique.

  24. Anthony

    April 15, 2014 at 12:25 pm

  25. Yokoo

    April 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    and as the saying goes, “an image is worth a thousand words.”

  26. l'oliphant

    April 15, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    beautiful kids and picture!

  27. Ximena

    April 15, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I see me on that photo, like you, with my brothers

  28. Emmy

    April 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    So so beautiful!!!

  29. Anabella

    April 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Not sure that it was the very same road, or perhaps the same curve, but right there in Urubamba I had a similar experience a few years back… a young girl and her best friend, carrying on with the chores of the day, stunningly beautiful and made more so because she had no idea…

  30. LIZPR

    April 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Wow, this is amazing. Halo of flowers. I like that.

    http://www.lizpr.com

  31. Serendipity

    April 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you for visiting my country and being such a great person, it was great meeting youg and learning just from talking to you,
    Of course, love the picture, my sister lives in Urubamba with her two little boys and this is they everyday, and its amazing,
    Vanessa

  32. Frosso

    April 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I use to follow you around the world ..!!
    Peru has been my dream destination for years, a desire I will probably not fulfil ..
    but through your photos I feel as I am there..
    Thank you

  33. Anya Smith

    April 15, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    You are endlessly inspiring. Finding style in the simple, beautiful everyday. Thank you for offering us something so different than ‘fashion trends’ with your crazy talent.

  34. Tasha

    April 15, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Travelling! What keeps us alive! Those children are most probably not picking flowers for decorating purposes , wonder what they use the plant for…. Thanks for the inspiration.

  35. Maggie

    April 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    I was recently in Cambodia and we remarked on the same thing about the children, how they had to be so much more tough and independent than their Western counterparts!

  36. Mark

    April 15, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I had the pleasure of doing a solo motorcycle trip through the Andes a couple of years ago – I was always stuck by how colourfully some people dressed and the contrast with the bleak (though beautiful) landscape there.

    You can tell how tough life there is for a lot of people from the faces of young men and women. At one point my bike broke down and I was helped by some workers rebuilding a highway nearby. I was chatting in terrible Spanish to a man I though was around 30ish – I asked how old he was and he replied 18! That has always stuck with me.

    Enjoy your trip Scot.

  37. Claudia

    April 15, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Hey Scott, the photo is amazing! It’s incredible how you managed to capture such a perfect moment. I’m Peruvian and every now and then I reprehend myself for not stopping a minute and contemplate all the beauty my country and the world has to offer… Thanks a lot for sharing this pic and your work is a true inspiration.

    P.S: My friend and I met you at PERUMODA in Lima! A great honor and keep the amazing work coming!

  38. Camila

    April 15, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    So beautiful. This photo is very inspirational, what a privilege it is too see the world like this first hand. Love it.

  39. Martine

    April 15, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Amazing photo. Really feels like I’m there.

  40. Denitza

    April 16, 2014 at 12:22 am

    I truly love your post about Peru and the children. Their is a sense of innocence but yet independence in these children. Extraño Perú. Make sure to try a Sublime chocolate out there.

  41. Ale

    April 16, 2014 at 6:03 am

    It is simply beautiful! Perú is wonderful, full of surprises <3

  42. CBC

    April 16, 2014 at 7:23 am

    the boy has a very untrusting expression….probably a stranger never stop them and take a photo….

  43. Marta

    April 16, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Breathtaking image. One of your best. It made my rather miserable day happy yesterday.

    Sad to think that, in general, children living in the seemingly “developed” world are so far behind in life skills, maturity and responsibility than the beautiful subjects of your photo.

  44. Ty

    April 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Beautiful photo, seems like a pic from another era, can’t stop thinking about it this morning . The photo actually brought tears to my eyes because it is so magical looking with the mountains and greenery . I don’t know if you could capture as pic like this in america.

  45. Pamela

    April 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    COOL PIC!! I love this series :)

    http://www.fashion-diaries.com

  46. Kristin

    April 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I am loving all these Peru photos…this one radiates kindness to me and it feels so distant from NYC and calming.

    I also really loved the photo you posted today of the woman with gray hair. You can tell she has lived a lot of years and you can see it in her face. Yet she feels peaceful and happy.

    Thanks for sharing your journey.

  47. Michelle

    April 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    If I could purchase these Peru pictures, I would.

  48. andriana

    April 17, 2014 at 2:56 am

    this is truly an amazing photo! this world is a magnificent place!

  49. Betty

    April 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Scott, you never fail to impress and inspire with your thoughtful and insightful comments. You are a true artist.

  50. Mary

    April 18, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Joy, indeed.

  51. sofia

    April 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    thank you for these photos from Peru… they “talk” to the heart

    check your FB share button …seems that it doesn’t work

  52. shesaidsomething

    April 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    What I love about this picture is the sister’s arm gently on her brother’s back. His stance is tentative and you can see that she is the brave one. It is touching beyond measure. Thank you

  53. esl

    April 19, 2014 at 5:45 am

    great shoot Mr. Scott, Peru has a beautiful culture, hope you can go to Chile too :). saludos.

  54. Nasif Kazia

    April 19, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Fashion is what you wear fashion is something that others follow it becomes trends like in old time children used to wear clothes like Elvis Presley it was his trend.Peru Is something different in fashion but fashion has no boundaries no limit. I liked the pics very much thank you for sharing with us.

  55. Lucia Goulart

    April 19, 2014 at 11:05 am

    That is it Scott, you have the best blog ever, because you have the best vision in what is simple and naturally sophisticated! Kudos for you and keep up the great work!

  56. jhctdxs

    April 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Nice pic! thank you for sharing.
    Oh, what is that? Just two kids, wearing approximately i.e. poorly, but garish and practical and their traditional. In a landscape still, not yet so populated, so everything is more abstract, your sight is out of your everyday duty, their lineaments are not yours, those cloths are still natural not petroleum-synthetic… Dreams, fabulous before Disney, a flower is a flower is a flower, lost childhood lost enchantment before the inevitable polemos the irreparable metropolis.
    (Forgive my English, greetings from Venezia: where you could get so many pictures of different cultural backgrounds passing by, them so free, touring, like you were in Peru: but you don’t because it’d be impolite, here – and of children: illegal).

  57. Ann-Marie

    April 19, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    This photo just took my breath away…It transcends time and is a beautiful glimpse of a child’s world. Thank you for posting these wonderful images of your travels.

  58. Michael Morgan

    April 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I have to admit that I don’t know exactly what to say! LOL I live in Peru about 8 months of each year–Zorritos, Cajamarca, Arequipa, and so on. For clarification, I can say that the capes are mantas. Most of the mantas I’ve seen actually come from Bolivia, and they’re generally very brightly colored. They’re as common here as messenger bags are in San Francisco. The women carry everything in them, and I do mean everything–though they oftentimes carry babies and very young childrent that way. Months ago, though, I saw a woman carrying a TURKEY in her manta. (Yes, a live turkey! Head protruding, etc.) And it’s been noted here how garments and hats, etc., change with regions. I’m not well-versed enough to know all the variations involved, but it’s easy the regional influences at work. Too, the iconography woven into hats, mantas, belts, sweaters, and the rest is fascinating. It’s not that difficult to discern … fields, rivers, plant life, setting suns, rising suns, and of course chakanas (Inca crosses) in mantas and other woven goods. IF anyone wants to know more, I can highly recommend 2 books (am I allowed to do this here?!?): A Woven Book of Knowledge: Textile Iconography of Cuzco, Peru is somewhat academic in it’s approach but fascinating nonetheless. My other recommendation, Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories, is more accessible and more “readable,” but equally fascinating. Imagine this, which I gathered from my reading. One of these authors said she was standing in the Sacred Valley talking to a young boy, and she asked him to name a particular mountain peak that was on the horizon. He named it and told her the history behind the name. And then there was a second mountain described, too. Before he finished, he had named and told the story behind the name of 28 (!) peaks they could see from where they were standing. Such is the intimate relationship between the people here in Peru and the natural world.

    Last but not least, I like (in this particular photo) how close the young boy and young girl are. It’s what you commonly see all across Peru. Grandmothers and grandfathers SELDOM walk alone. There’s almost always a son, a daughter, or a grandchild assisting them–walking hand in hand or with an arm around the waist, and so on. It’s not only sweet (from our/my U.S. perspective), but … O so warm and touching and comforting to see.

  59. Pilar

    April 20, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Thanks, your pics are a wonderful gift, especially this one with the two kids.

  60. puherock

    April 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    my country, wow todo lo que puede pasar en 2 meses cuando una no navega en internet… mi lindo paìs y su gente… (=

  61. Bàrbara

    April 20, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    mi lindo paìs y su gente
    mu country is cute n its people too. greetings (=

  62. Lucy

    April 21, 2014 at 6:29 am

  63. Robin Laine

    April 27, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you for all your beautiful photographs. You bring our worlds together and allow us to see one another. I have followed you for years and always have enjoyed your view.

  64. Jules

    May 4, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    I lived in the Sacred Valley of Peru (Ollantaytambo) and volunteered for an incredible non-profit organization called Sacred Valley Health (SVH). We train indigenous Peruvians — who have little to no access to healthcare — to serve as community health workers in their isolated villages. Our promotoras de salud are at the core of our organization and I’m so blessed to have worked and learned alongside them.

  65. sasha

    May 6, 2014 at 2:06 am

    I love how with the locals, color is beautiful. They don’t worry about clashing colors or patterns…simply, color is beautiful.

  66. JC

    May 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you for your words, for your visit, for the fantastic photos and thoughtful insight. We welcome you and your readers to Peru with open arms, and hope to see you back again soon.

  67. Name*

    May 12, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    What a wonderful picture this is!

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