Even when trekking the Inca Trail in Peru, Oana Dragan combines her love of art and storytelling as a photographer by capturing the country from a unique perspective.
While traveling, she finds inspiration in the people she meets, and the photos and stories she collects reflect this, making us reevaluate our place in the world.
No matter where we come from or who we are, she believes we all have a basic desire to be happy, to follow our passion, and to make a difference in our own way. She believes photography is the perfect medium to express this basic desire.
When Oana set out on her assignment in Peru’s Sacred Valley, her goal was to capture the country’s richly diverse population in a series of portraits.
We first met as shepherds…
“In those days, we were all just a bunch of little kids. He had pigs, and I had sheep, and that’s how we first became acquainted. My love for her began there. We parted ways after that. While I was in Cusco, he went to the valley to look for a job. I grew to miss him greatly…”
I learned Spanish in Cusco.
This was due to the fact that I could only communicate fluently in Quechua, which was my first language. For my part, I learned how to cook and clean the house during this period of my life. In the small town of Pisac, we happened to bump into each other at a local bar. Because we didn’t plan to meet, I believe it was fate that brought us together.
We first met as children, fell in love, and then broke up for different reasons before being re-united. As a result, we remained together for a long time before getting married.”
A lot of love was missing from my life when I was younger.
“…because my mother drank too much, she didn’t do much for me when I was growing up. The love I could have had was not given to me. Also, I had no real education because I only went to school until I was in third grade.
It got to the point where I was forced to relocate to a jungle-like area. I was brought up by a variety of people. It is my hope that I can provide my children with what I lacked. It’s important to me that I spend time with my children and give them a great deal of attention. “I take them farming with me on a regular basis.”
In the morning, “I’m up around 5 a.m.
I’m on my way to the market to set up my stall and sell the weavings I’ve made. Oana Dragan provided the image.
Take the kids to the bus stop so they can go to school every morning. When I get back, I pack a lunch for my mother-in-law, who is out in the mountains with the sheep. My next stop is at the market, where I set up my stall and begin selling my hand-woven goods.
To make a nice lunch for my husband and myself, I return home after spending about two hours at the museum. He used to be a porter, but now he works in a quarry cutting stone to build houses. My next step is to weave more goods for sale. Before going to sleep, we eat dinner together in the evening so that we can get up earlier the next day.
I worry about the future of my children…
“…when I’m farming. I’m hoping they become experts. That they attend college and pursue their education. If they can get a job, I’ll be happy! I want them to be able to make their own decisions. There are those who have no choice. Agriculture suffers when the weather is unfavorable. As a parent, I want the best for my children’s futures. It’s not just agriculture either. In my heart, I want my children to surpass me.”
We need to be extremely cautious…
“…with our farming methods. To begin, we apply water to the land. After that, we use tools to dig furrows and apply high-quality fertilizer to the soil. Only organic fertilizer is used here.
I’m sick of it. After that, everything is thoroughly combined. The seed is then sown. Potatoes, corn, or quinoa could all be the answer. It’s then covered and refilled with water. When seeding, bulls are sometimes used to help with the plow. We rely primarily on rain to grow our crops. “The harvest season is my favorite time of year.”
I’m content because I’m on the road.
“…always with my art all over South America. Brazil is one of my favorite countries. I grew up in a town near Cusco. When I’m working on a piece of art, I’m completely immersed in the process. About eight or nine years ago, I began my career. I spent two years building musical instruments. The opportunity to do this has been a blessing from God.
For transforming me into a creative individual. My talent is to create art. I’d like to keep traveling and learning about other cultures and peoples. ‘ In the future, I’d like to start a family, but for now, I’m content with traveling.
To put it another way, “Working brings me joy.
Since I started 50 years ago, I’ve been doing this… As descendants of the Incas, it is incumbent upon us to safeguard the rich cultural heritage we have inherited. Traditions are passed down through the generations.”