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Study Abroad | July 24, 2017

Lake Titicaca

Faith Winston

During our trip, a group of students and I took an excursion to Lake Titicaca. We were able to meet many people and learn about the history of the islands and the techniques used to make them. On this lake, there are 36 natural islands as well as 87 man-made "islas flotantes" or floating islands. Totora reeds grow in the lake and they are essential for making the islands, building their homes, and the reeds can even be eaten. It was amazing seeing these huge islands floating in the middle of the lake and I was fascinated to learn about the process. Seeing these floating villages and being able to walk on them was a great experience. I will never forget exploring the island while the reed floor squished under my feet. During this time, I grew an appreciation for the creativity and resourcefulness of the natives. ASU may be #1 in innovation but the people of the Uros islands definitely taught us a thing or two today! (originally published June 18, 2017)