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    • Most indigenous villages of the Peruvian Andes are so remote that the people there have no access to the electric grid. They still use kerosene lamps and candles for light, and car batteries to power their scarce appliances. But Coporaque, a tiny archaic settlement on the outskirts of the Colca Valley, has recently learned to harness the power of the sun.

      Rocio Huamani runs a small hostel there - and it's powered by the most modern technology imaginable, a microgrid of solar panels. Rocio still prefers her native Quechua tongue over Spanish, herbal remedies over aspirin, and Inti the sun god over the Catholic tradition, but her hostel in Coporaque is a miracle of the twenty-first century.

      Rocio's mud brick hostel is located in one of the poorest regions of South America. Running everything on solar energy, Rocio and her family can enjoy electricity (and if the day was particularly sunny, even hot showers!).

      Since it's too expensive to expand the electric grid to some of these extremely remote places, Peru is subsidizing solar panels for communities that are hard to reach. And it seems to be working.

    • Oh please do! They are such a lovely family, and Rocio's food is amazing. Coporaque is about 7 miles away from Chivay where the main tourist traffic is usually directed.

      Rocio has three girls who she hopes will go to college instead of marrying at 16 as is still quite custom in those parts, so if you go, maybe you can bring some books or school supplies to them:)