Castro's dream for Cuba's artists
Jigme Sherpa brings hope to Nepal's quake victims
01 Aug 2011 08:14 GMT
Santa Lucia is a remote village in the high Andes of Peru, located at 4,050m above the sea level
It is a dry region and because of the altitude trees do not grow there
People in Santa Lucia live far from reality and from civilisation, sticking to the traditional way of life as alpaca herders
The herders live off the animals they raise, selling the animals and alpaca wool
The alpaca ranchers have successfully adapted to the regions extreme altitude over generations
But they are getting increasingly concerned about climate change
One resident says: "In some months it rains and in others it does not, so the rivers are drying up"
The winters have grown longer and more severe over the past decades, becoming more than the residents can bear
Once the herders were able to sustain themselves through the long winter months, but today they are not able to manage their resources
Many alpacas do not survive due to the severe cold, so the business is no longer profitable for many herders
Salvador Alejo Tunco, a local leader and herder who grew up in the countryside, is battling against the elements as climate change threatens his community(***)s existence
Salvador says the city is becoming overcrowded because people are coming from the countryside seeking for better conditions
Due to the climate and the increasing lack of water the villagers can not grow vegetables or fruit needed for a balanced nutrition
Because of the changing weather the herders can not eat the same food they used to live on 25 years ago
Since the winters have become longer and colder, there is not enough gras for the alpacas
The farmers have to give the animals vitamins so they can make it through the winter
Many parents are concerned about their children and how they will handle global warming
Respiratory problems are becoming more prevalent, particulalry in minors and the elderly who are both vulnerable to climate change and its impact on their health
Some herders are making their children study so they can become professionals, hoping they will be able to live better lives
The communitys very way of life is at risk as climate change continues to profoundly affect them
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