To combine her interests in religious anthropology and archaeology, Latin American and Iberian Studies fellowship recipient Amelia Koblentz ’20 traveled to Lake Titicaca, which is located on the border between Peru and Bolivia, to explore the religious beliefs of the indigenous people living there.
Koblentz visited Cusco, Puno, Copacabana and La Paz to learn more about the Aymara, Intiraymi and other indigenous tribes through festivals and religious ceremonies that occurred during her trip.
“Along the way I saw amazing sites and discovered how gracious and friendly the local people are, especially in Peru,” Koblentz said.
Although the indigenous cultures in the region have existed for thousands of years, many are trying to rediscover the identities they lost during the Spanish occupation, Koblentz said. She also noted that she decided to explore the region because of its largely underappreciated archeology.
“On the winter solstice, the Aymara celebrate the ending of the year by witnessing the sun rise,” Koblentz said. It was truly a magical experience.”