Pearson Adult Learning Centre Home
Pearson Adult Learning Centre
  Weekly Feature (April 27, 2009)


Helen's Weekly Feature
The Uros of Lake Titicaca


Every day I find myself thinking of things that I feel I need or would like. I would love a new, flat-screen television, a faster, more up-to-date computer — maybe a laptop— or a more economical car, just to name a few. I believe it is part of our culture to want for more. Then I am reminded of a people that I met this past summer who not only don’t have a list such as mine but many of these words are not even in their language, let alone in their minds.

Last summer on our trip from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Machu Picchu, Peru we visited Lake Titicaca, situated on the border between Bolivia and Peru. We took a forty-five minute boat ride into the middle of the lake to visit a unique group of people, the Uros or “reed people.”

They are fascinating. They live on floating islands made of reeds that grows on the lake. There are about thirty-five of these floating islands containing about 1000 people. They came to live on these islands because, at some point, many hundreds of years ago, these people, who were living on the lake shore, took refuge in the middle of the lake to escape slavery or death from their enemies.

Today, they continue their way of life, seemingly untouched by much of our modern conveniences. They live in small, one room huts made of the same reeds that make up the islands. There is no electricity and they cook over an open fire. Their only contact with the “outside world,” unfortunately, is the many tourists who come to observe their uniqueness.

The experience of visiting the Uros served to remind me of everything I have and to show me how little I actually need to survive and be happy. These people opened their lives to us, proudly showing us their few possessions and, although I realize that it was a “show,” they truly appeared happy without the televisions, computers and cars that we seem to think are so vital.

Visit Last Week's Feature:

Earth Day 2009

Weekly Feature Index
(Includes all 2002 to date Weekly Features with descriptions)


Return to Top



Visit our Contact Us page to send email to the centre.
Copyright © 1997 to 2009 Pearson Adult Learning Centre, New Westminster School District 40
Web Site Created by The Educated Web
Last modified: July 31, 2009