We are back from Machu Picchu and have made it to our final destination of our trip: Cusco. Cusco was the capital of the Incan Empire, and served as both the religious and political center. Throughout the city, we’ve seen amazing examples of Inca architecture, overlaid in many cases by Spanish colonial buildings and structures.

Women at the Textile Center spin wool as small children look on. (photo by Samantha J.)

Women at the Textile Center spin wool as small children look on. (photo by Samantha J.)

On our way to Cusco, we stopped by the Center for Traditional Textiles in Chinchero.

We began by learning about the process in which alpaca wool is dyed with various natural plants and bugs and subsequently spun into yarn.

A woman carefully spins wool at the Center for Traditional Textiles in Chinchero, Peru. (photo by Samantha J.)

A woman carefully spins wool at the Center for Traditional Textiles in Chinchero, Peru. (photo by Samantha J.)

After, we wove our own bracelets, the first practice that young weavers complete. Then we had a delicious lunch prepared by one of the Chinchero women, consisting of many types of food including guinea pig and tortillas.

Another weaver prepares wool for future textiles (as seen in the background). (photo by Samantha J.)

Another weaver prepares wool for future textiles (as seen in the background). (photo by Samantha J.)