photo of person from Peru Cerro de Pasco
Peru glossary


(PERU 10)













We're in the community of Yauli with a comunero (registered community member with rights and responsibilities) who's very kindly agreed to the following interview.

Section 1
A very good evening to you Sr, how would you feel about beginning this conversation by telling us something about your life, your family, your name, your age?
Fine, my name's Teůfilo Herrera Perales. I belong to the campesina community of Yauli. My grandparents were from here. My grandfather was called Apolinario Perales and my grandmother Lucia Rojas, they were comuneros so, as their grandchild, I've also become a comunero, and I live in the community as a comunero.

And what do you remember about your community, the life of your community?
Well, I'm going to tell you what I've experienced because when I was a child there was a large quantity of livestock - so many cows and now you see so few. Why? Because of the contamination from the fumes of La Oroya, which are here to this day. And so you see many campesinos from the village of Yauli have gone to live in other places, so we find ourselves now with a minimum amount of cattle, about 25 or 30. We only possess a small amount of livestock, because of the fumes, which cause an illness which kills through paralysis - how do they call it, ďladrigueraĒ, because it makes them act as if they're drunk, and after a short while, they die. To prevent this we need a cure, but these days medicine costs so much, too much, and you can't survive. No comunero, for example, has any more than 100 sheep these days, when before they used to have 500, 600 or 900. Nowadays nobody has more than 100. Unfortunately I could tell you about this over and over again. In Yauli the livestock situation is very sad and the poverty is great.

What's the name of your community?
It's the campesina community of San Antonio of Yauli, recorded as a province since 1951, but recognised in 1835. This is what I can tell you as a broad outline.

And you told me that your parents also reared livestock. Did they have many animals?
My parents had quite a lot of animals, my grandparents as well. I remember in those times, for example, my grandfather had a room like a larder where he just kept provisions: rice, sugar, fruit, potatoes, and in another room there was meat and you could walk in like a wardrobe and take it out. But these days, who has meat in store? Nobody. This disaster is shared by everybody. Things have changed a lot. Itís not like before when people had more resources, families had more resources, not like now when they can merely [afford to] get by.
Section 2
Are your parents still alive?
No, neither my parents or my grandparents are alive, they died several years ago now.

Did you inherit anything from them?
Nothing really, they all died and in the end they had nothing. The only thing they gave me was an education. Not animals or anything because in the end they didn't have anything. It was already the time of crisis. Just an education, that's all they left me.

And what did you study, what were you studying for?
Well, I studied..., I finished my secondary studies, and then later I considered doing law. I wanted to go to university, to be a lawyer, but as I lacked the economic resources I stayed here and had to go work for a mining company and I'm still working there.

You're a miner?
Yes, there wasn't any alternative, although I do mix my farming, my work in the community, with the mining, I'm not just a miner.

But you told us you didn't have much livestock now.
That's right and so I can't live just from the animals, from being a comunero. All communities have to do other things, trade, care for the land, other businesses if they can. If not, they can't survive, they can't look after their families and I have my obligations.

Are you married? Have you got a family?
Yes, I'm married. I have my family, my children..

How many children have you got?
I've got three children, I've got three children here. The oldest is fifteen, the second twelve and the other is nine.

And has your family stayed here or have some of them left the community like many others?
Well, I have a relative who lives in Chosica near Lima, for example. Heís left all his land, his estate as we call it, because all his animals died and there was no other way of making a living. So he went to work in the city. Heís got a small company there now. He works for himself, and now his land is completely deserted, ruined, abandoned. This is one case but I could tell you of many others like it.

There are many other cases?
Yes, many.

People who've had to leave the countryside?
They've left the countryside, quite a few have gone. Now there's only a few of us left here in Yauli. Out of the people who live here now, the majority are people who've come to work in the mines.
Section 3
And what's the main activity of the Yauli comuneros these days?
Nowadays the main work is for the mining companies, that's it. Itís not like it was before. Most people are miners, temporary or permanent.

They don't rear livestock anymore?
They only rear a few, a small amount, because it doesn't pay, like I told you before, you can't live from this anymore.

Do you have any memories from earlier years in Yauli, that your parents have told you about or from your own experience?
Yes, before, there was, according to what my grandparents told me, here in Yauli, when it began, there was a Mining Delegation, there was the sub-prefecture, the general Command of the Civil Police was also there, and the Law Court. This is what my grandparents told me, that there was everything here. Some say that where we are now was also a public institution.

What was it?
The Law Courts used to function here and itís still here. Before this it was a monastery, then it was a soft drink factory and then they left the community to go to the town of La Oroya. And so it was that Yauli was left on one side.

So youíre saying that this was an important place?
Very important. There was a lot of money coming in and they had everything. There were people who came from other countries, who came for example from Spain, they came from Yugoslavia, from Japan and they came to live here for the livestock, they came for the mining and they had good properties [here] until the day when the smelter started in La Oroya. From then on everyone had to go away. They used to come to rear livestock, but then with the fumes, they went away.

So you attribute loss of importance of your community and the current poverty to the pollution from the smelter works at La Oroya?
Itís damaged everything. If it wasn't for that, we would be like any other village, we would have livestock. I know that you can make a good living from livestock if you have a large number. An example is the community of Vitbe which belongs to Cerro de Pasco. When you go there, you see all kinds of livestock. Who wouldnít want to live like that! But that's not the reality in Yauli. As I see it, Yauli is sad. There arenít any comuneros any more - itís not possible. There's no business at all. Itís dead, because of the fumes.

And has your community, Yauli, has it done anything against....?
Yes, we've tried many times now. Many people have died and others have got old fighting for their rights. They were constantly trying to work out how to resolve this problem.

And what response have you had?
Negative, because Cerro de Pasco owned the rest of the land. Thanks to Velasco, whose government gave it to the gringos. But then came Centromin and it was just the same, maybe even worse with the state owned company - theyíve gone on ruining the land.
Section 4
To which institution did you protest?
To all of them. we asked for example The Ministry of Agriculture, before and now. The Ministry of the President as well, and many others, but they've never been on our side; they haven't helped us with what we needed. Because we're just a few comuneros they've no need to listen to us. And for these reasons, up to now there have been a lot of comuneros who've given up. More have emigrated to the city of Lima. Most of the comuneros are in Chosica where they've forgotten that they are comuneros. They do whatever they can, except for what they know, and in that way they forget their land, they have to forget.

What do the young people do when they finish secondary education?
From here they have to go to Huancayo or to Lima or sometimes if there's something special they want to do, they go elsewhere.

And when they become professionals , do they return to the town?
Many come back, but that doesnít mean to live; they return to visit, to look around, to come and see their families. These are children of miners like that. And others, for example one Yaulino boy who'd gone came back as an Apra guy - [you know] the party that was in power before the current government. He was vice minister of Education, from the Cairo family.

And he was from your community?
He was from Yauli, from right here.

And what was the name of this man?
He was Luis Cordova Molina. He was the Vice Minister, and thankfully he gave us economic support, to build the school, the college that's called Josť Santos Chocano. But they don't normally return. When they come to visit, they remember their land or that of their parents.

You told me you had children?
I've got three children?

And what do you want for them?
Now my children don't want to be here, they want to go to a better city, bigger, to be able to prepare themselves better, to have a better environment, not like here.

And are you going to take them away?
I'm thinking of going elsewhere for my children, for their education. Nowadays itís not like before, I told you, you have to study. In my time it was very difficult to study. You just couldn't go to university. In the end I couldn't go. Now I think there are more facilities, but you have to go to a bigger city so that the children can get a good training and [go on to] study.
Section 5
And would you leave your community?
Well, not really, we would find a place somewhere between here and where my children could study. I would do it that way. I would be between the two places, thatís kind of how I would do it.

But what would happen is that your children, if they left your community and studied in the university, they would become professionals and then it would be more difficult for them to return to your community don't you think?
Well yes, unfortunately. But thatís life, they must study. Parents should always look for the best for their children and there's not much future here the way things are. You can see for yourself how we are here in Yauli, there's no future now.

Its sad that a community so big, which was as important as Yauli used to be, is now disappearing. Do you believe that its going to disappear?
Like I said, there's no support. They give to everyone, but I don't know why they don't give anything to Yauli, they don't support us, I donít know why not. Look, if we stop here you can see the huge quantities of minerals passing by.

Every day?
Every day.

At all hours?
At all hours. Day and night, 24 hours. At least we can thank the children of Yauli who live in other places and who give a little support for the progress of Yauli.

Tell me, continue telling me what you would like most for your children?
Well, as I was saying, education here. There's no higher education here and I would like my children to study here and not to have to go away, but there's no higher education here. All the children from Yauli, San Cristobal, Conococha, all these people, these children, from all these communities, should be able to study in higher education. But you see there are a lot of parents who can't afford a lot of expenses. So if we had this, if we had a centre for further education [here], then they could be educated. In my case, for example, if there had been a technical programme, an agricultural programme... but there isnít... and people go on thinking about improving their knowledge of mining and agriculture. If we prepared this land, well, we could grow vegetables. So what's needed is to educate the people and prepare the land in whatever space we have here. This is what we lack at the moment. We need the local or central government, ministries, or other institutions to support us. I know that in this way Yauli could improve. I would like this for my children, because otherwise as a father I have to think of taking them elsewhere. That's what I think. And if itís going to happen, us fathers will have to work for it.

Tell me something, who have you worked for yourself?
Well, Iíve worked for the Volcan mining company.

How long ago?
Well, I worked for 25 years.
Section 6
25 years as a miner?
Yes, since when I began to realise that livestock farming wasn't any longer enough to live from, especially with a family.

And what did it mean for you to change your life and become a miner?
Well, not that much because I continued to work in the communal faenas (community, communual work). And anyway, I didn't live in the mining camp with other miners. I lived here in Yauli, where I was born.

But going to work in the mines is another kind of routine. The work is different to the work in the countryside?
Of course itís different: you have to work shifts and all that. I worked on the winches, which are lifts positioned below the earth. That's where I was employed when the Volcan company, when the company was owned by Felippe Zacarias. Heíd been a muleteer and as a muleteer, he used to travel to Martullu. He had to pass this place; sometimes he arrived at night time and then heíd have to stay in the place where the....and the land, and the from here the man noticed that there were a lot of minerals deposited there. He reported it to the mines, and after his announcement, in very little time, everyone wanted to buy it. In that time [the] Volcan [company] worked in Ticlio. Ticlio belonged to then there was... they offered it to Volcan and he sold it to them. In 1952 it [the mine] began operations and from then until now. It stopped for a bit until 1960. But from 1960 until today itís been working and there's a lot of copper, zinc, silver...We're working there. As I said, he reported it and sold it.

He reported it to them and it was sold?
He reported it and then sold it and he retired after that.

And those who bought it?
They are the owners now, there are several now I think. I don't know who they are. The company is called Volcan - they gave it this name.

And does your community have problems with the company, Volcan? Does the company where you work also pollute your community lands or any others?
Well now, the tailings, the refinery... right now for example they've polluted about 1200 hectares, something like that. So right now we're in conflict. We're asking them to compensate in some way. They tell us that the mining [industry] is facing a crisis, that thereís nothing for them to extract... and up to now.
[Interview interrupted]

You were commenting about the lawsuit between the campesina community and the Volcan company about its waste?
Yes, that's right now. Well, right back before Volcan began to work [here], they took land from our community for their mining camps. They told us in an agreement that they'd do something for the village as compensation. They signed a document but the company hasn't fulfilled its promise. They took the land that they wanted, claiming that it had already been acquired by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, that this land belonged to the government and that we had nothing to do with it - that's what they said. Well, we had the titles for it and some time later we got it back. At that time the construction plant was quite small. Nowadays itís much bigger. In summer, there's a big cloud of dust, the air is easily contaminated and this is what I can tell you. We have a fight on our hands. Weíre asking them to recognise us. They on the other hand go away.
Section 7
And in your case, as I imagine is the case for most comuneros from Yauli who work for the mining companies like Volcan or Centromin, don't you feel a bit bad working for these companies that are damaging and polluting your community?
Well, the problem is that they don't fulfil their promises. They must fulfil their promises and we would be better off. You know that if you have a family, you have to work. If not, how are you going to keep your family? That's why we do it - we try to do the best for our family. Besides, when we work itís because the community also made an agreement with the mining companies working on their lands that they would give jobs to the children of Yauli. And so a number of us went to work there... And in this way we managed to get a few things. Thanks to the workers, we got electricity, they set up [security] posts, and this has helped us out because... So we have to do it [but] we've got something out of the company, like the electricity. Thatís what it was like. Now what's happening to us in Yauli, now you see the company has reduced its workers by more than 50%. We think that if mining dies, what will we do. We do have a thermal spring in Yauli where we need to... the waters have to be analysed, to see what they have in them. According to what the Chemical Faculty in the capital said, these waters are mineral, like San Mateo, mineral water. So we're thinking about setting up an industry. We've got other projects too. We're also doing something about farming trout - all things you need to create companies for. There are a lot of other jobs that... and like I told you, the other [idea] is to breed livestock, llamas etc, although we have to learn first how to exploit these livestock. This is the future you could say, because if it isnít, there will be no future.

Does it not seem to you that you are little by little losing more than you gain?
Well, right now bit by bit we have to fight it out with the company just as much as they do with us, we have to ...The pollution is getting worse, and they take advantage of the fact that there are less of us now - we're weaker. But you see, we are weak, and we don't know much about law, and there isn't any money to get back what's ours by right.

And as mining workers do you defend your work?
Well, as workers yes of course, but as authorities of the mines....

Tell me something, do the people here suffer from any kind of illness, people in the community?
The problem these days is with the teeth.

Why is that?
Because the water here has too much lime, so we need to strengthen our teeth. Thatís the main thing that affects most of us here. Then there are few common illnesses.
Section 8
But the Ministry of Health, has it given any type of support, has the mining company done anything [to help]?
No, no, no. Nothing. The Municipality is collecting documents on this particular issue to put to companies in La Oroya, [telling them] to make cleaner water that we can drink.

Tell me, are there any other campesina communities close to here?
Yes, thereís the campesina community of Pomacocha, just over the other side. Further down we have the campesina community of Pachachacu, which is in the same boat as us. Pachachacu is worse affected than us. But Pumacocha, on the other hand isn't because itís further away from La Oroya, so it has better pastures.

And do they also rear livestock?
They've had livestock as well. The people further away have more luck with livestock, that's how it is...from Cerro de Pasco. They have cattle, horses, some have bought better livestock from Cerro de Pasco and they've improved their stock.

And when you speak of Cerro de Pasco are you referring to the company?
Yes, the company, the Cerro de Pasco company. They have a lot of livestock. I think thatís where they get it from.

Do you remember anything about the Cerro de Pasco Corporation?
Yes, well I remember, that when Cerro de Pasco had their livestock out there in front, nobody went there, nobody could pass. It was prohibited, closed. I personally saw about 2000 or 3000 head of cattle.

And the fumes from La Oroya?
It wasn't there then. The smelter I think was further down, in Malpaso I think, I don't remember very well. They took the minerals there to Malpaso. This [smelter] belonged to Paccha, I think it belonged to Paccha which is another community. After that they brought the fumes here.

It was from about this time that they began to emit fumes?
Yes from then on, more and more.

From which year more or less?
Right now its been at least 50, 60 or even 70 years.

And did they emit the same amount then as they do now?
No, now itís less, but the damage has already been done. As you can see there's hardly any grass on the hills now. Itís poor grass, mostly rubbish that's not worth anything. Before it was grass which nourished the animals, but not now. You just see the waste land which is no use as pastures.

And have you tried to explain this to the Cerro de Pasco Corporation?
All the villages here through the Association of Campesina Communities have complained and they said that theyíre going to acknowledge, that theyíre going to pay a certain amount to each community, but itís not enough you see. What can we do with this money if there are 100 of us comuneros and they give us 2000 or 3000 soles (1500 dollars, soles are the Peruvian currency). Itís not even enough to buy medicine. Itís not enough.
Section 9
But what do you think? Do you believe this was the best solution?
No, itís not. Itís good for them at least, but not for us. At the least the government should have ordered experts to come and study and recommend the best way to solve the problem of the grass - how we could maintain it, with some kind of medicine, or improve the land. I don't really know.

How do you think it should be resolved?
Well, right now we're doing an analysis with the municipio (local council). At the moment, for example I'm planting trees to counterbalance the pollution. Because the more trees there are here, the better it will be, you see. This is what we're looking for right now, we're looking for trees which will grow well in this region. The local council is researching this. Theyíre the only ones doing it with us.

And do you get support from any institution apart from them?
No, we haven't had any, but we have been given some seeds for trees from the village Concepciůn down the road - theyíve worked with us. We've recently planted some colle (?). At least we think that in 20 or 30 years from now thereíll be lots of trees to halt the contamination. I hope this will be the solution. We'll have to see what happens.

And is your community organised to confront these problems of improving your quality of life, to fight against the pollution of the mining companies?
Well yes, we try, our community is well organised. We have a board of directors, which just recently elected a new president. They've also established two administrative councils, the community watch council and the administrative council, that's how we're organised. We also make our work plans together and hold meetings. Just recently the board had to present its work plan which was approved in the General Assembly of all comuneros. This is how we are organised to try and develop activities like before, with the whole community.

What kind of activities?
Like improving our grass, getting them to supply us with the kind of machinery we see in other places. They haven't given anything to Yauli despite the fact that itís one of the villages that mostly supports the mines - it makes a lot of money for the treasury. But the government has forgotten Yauli. We don't have any support for our livestock or even improving our pastures, or improving the livestock. We are tired of protesting to [different] institutions and I don't know what the next step will be, I don't know. But as a community we want to try and improve the pastures, to revive them a little, just a bit that's all - it won't be like before. We [also] need to improve our livestock.

Tell me, are there are any institutions in your community at the moment?
Right now we have a communal cooperative where there are....all they have at the moment is 1200 sheep and 35 heads of cattle. Theyíre maintaining these but we can't really hope for more because the grass is so bad, as I keep saying. I mean how much would it cost in medicine? To cure all these animals now we would have to spend at least 5-6000 soles, to buy enough for this amount of livestock. Can you imagine buying all that? Weíd have to sell all our animals. Then what would be the point in doing it? Itís ridiculous how much medicine costs.
Section 10
But what type of medicine do they give you?
Well there's an infinite range of medicines you see. For example, ďTerramicinaĒ, then there's the other one that's called....there's one they call ďOroflaxĒ, which is for cattle, but you can't get it here. You have to go to Huancayo or even to Cerro de Pasco where there's transport. Thatís the only way to get hold of it.

And what's the illness that affects the livestock most at the moment?
Well itís the fumes, the [contaminated] grasses. I don't know what the doctors call this disease. You see it has another name, but I can't remember what it is. This is what affects them most, as Iíll say again. You see the situation is like this, the sheep are okay but then there are days when the fumes come here and the sheep... they have to eat so little by little they get drunk; they get thinner and then they die.

And the cattle, what type of illness do they get?
The cattle, they get licuria (livestock disease), that's the only thing they get, licuria, so many things.

The cattle?
Yes the cattle.

And tell me something, what's the objective of your cooperative? Does it benefit everybody in the community?
Well, it was created for the benefit of members, ie comuneros (registered community members with rights and responsibilities), because there are some comuneros with hardly anything, so the cooperative gives them economic support every year. So, this comunero has to contribute his work in order to progress and to get more services and to compensate the other comuneros. In this case, for example, they have the sheep dip for free. In May, for example, there's an illness that goes round which gives them ďgarrapataĒ (pothook). To combat this they give free medicine, the cooperative gives them medicine for free because they buy it in bulk. Now for the community itself, every year you have to do something towards the work that the community is involved in - they call it economic support. So there are all these little jobs. But, as I far as I remember, for years now, Iím an old man now, theyíve never managed to give us anything.

So youíre saying that the cooperative is the one with the most money. Why is this?
Well, you see, the community created the cooperative during the time of Velasco. Then, at the beginning of the Ď70s, the cooperative used to administer the community resources and so they had the money and they did various things for the comuneros. Depending on [how well] the business and sales and all these things [went], that's why the cooperative has money. But also, these projects that I was talking about, the cooperative could take care of all this: the thermal springs with mineral water like in San Mateo, the industries, the trout farm as I've already told you, there are lots of things that can [help] the future of the community.
Section 11
So there are lots of projects. You can be optimistic for the future. I'm sure itís going to go very well for you.
We hope, young man, that things will get improve for the community.

But tell me SeŮor, given the fact that people are leaving the community and all that has happened to your community, what kind of changes have there been in the customs, in the people, what can you tell us about all this?
Well, the customs are the fiestas and the feast day of the patron saint of the community, Saint Anthony, which is celebrated on the 13 June. As I said before, there are lots of people who've emigrated to other places and almost forgotten about these fiestas. Very few celebrate these fiestas nowadays, but the community celebrates the artisanal fair every year on 22 October. They keep this one, yes. Only those who go away forget the customs, not those who stay.

But you personally, and your family, do you uphold the customs as your parents and grandparents used to do?
Right now, look, the memories we have right now are of the artisanal fair that we have on 22 October - this is the main memory we all have. Itís where all the comuneros have to support the village here with what they produce, in this case, meat, wool, materials, all these things. This is the main memory I have. I remember this since I was a little boy.

And would you like to work in the fields again, to look after animals and leave the mines, would you like this?
Yes, that's what I'm thinking, because these days you can't have sheep, itís better to have camelids because the pastures are now pure rubbish. Camelids can feed from scrub land and they need less care. Theyíre more hardy and also the medicine is cheaper, so... yes, cattle, sheep and goats are all very weak compared to the camelid which can survive [anything]. People can still survive on rearing camelids.

I suppose you know each group, or rather which animals are in the camelid group and which are in the wool-producing group?
Well, we generally use the name ďcamelidĒ for llamas, mainly llamas, alpacas as well are camelid, but alpacas are weaker than llamas. On one occasion we did buy them thinking of the wool; we bought ten but they didn't even last a year. They died very quickly and everything that had been invested was lost.

They died?
Yes they died.

And how much did you invest in them?
Well, on that occasion we invested about 2000 soles ( 900 dollars) and it went to water, everything was lost, not even the wool. All the wool went like this, as if it was a leper, the alpaca was naked, it didn't have any wool. We wanted to rear alpaca for the wool, because that's where the money is, but itís not possible on this land, with the pollution and everything. You can manage it over there in Arequipa I think, in Apurimac, but not here.
Section 12
You can't manage it?

How do you think you could improve this?
Well, like I said, we've been looking for a way to improve things. We need to prepare our land a lot. In this case we have to plant things, and to plant things we need machines.

What type of machines?
Tractors for example to turn the land; we need to buy seeds, things you can grow here. Weíve seen a comunero who's doing this type of work and he's getting good results. So we have to locate a place where we can grow in the biggest quantity for the animals, especially now when there's more medicine, but we need a lot more money.

But have the community leaders seen this man who's made the earth give good results?
Yes, they have, but, as always, when there isn't a lot of money you can't make all the necessary improvements. Since we're just comuneros, nobody wants to lend us money, nobody wants to take risks with us. What's more, itís worse because there isn't a lot of water. The river is contaminated with water from the mines so you can't have anything there at all. If there was money we could recover the economy of the Yauli community to what it was before. I told you that before there was wool in abundance, the crafts were famous as well, not like now. There used to be plenty of demand, people came to buy, for example from Huancayo, from Jauja. We used to exchange things; they brought vegetables here, clothes...from here they took meat, wool and weavings. The road-building was at its peak and there was all kinds of business. In contrast there's nothing now. Nowadays we see two or three little shops, before, there were all these streets, all of them were full of shops.

So, youíre saying that the community was productive and the mining was productive too?
That's how it was.

And what did the community produce?
Mainly wool, the community produced wool, and other products, good meat and wool for weaving.

And the mining, what minerals were produced in the mines?
Nowadays, the mines produce, for example, lead, zinc, copper, and a small amount of silver... there was something for everybody, everything.
Section 13
Economically they did well?
Yes, we managed. But now there are comuneros from Centromin who have only what they earn, and they continue to work. Before it was better I think and I'm not exaggerating. We've complained, and nothing, they laugh at us. Here we want Yauli to become important again. This is what the gringos (westerners, foreigners, in this context North Americans whoran/owned the mines) did who moved La Oroya, they built the smelter. They wanted everything to be close; all the authorities, the police, the courts that were in Yauli before, they moved [everything] to La Oroya. Yauli was a province then, not a district, it was the province of Yauli and Oroya was just the capital of the province. Until recently it was the province of Yauli and now weíve become La Oroya. Yauli is no longer a Province. I don't know why. Itís because the Gringos bought it from the authorities here, offering them work, houses, they saw that.... I mean.....I'll give you a house, work... so they sold it because as you see with everything... They don't say Oroya they say Yauli. Theyíve made it La Oroya, that's all.

Does it show on the map?
Yauli does, La Oroya doesn't.

And is there a difference between La Oroya and Yauli in terms of the progress there's been.
For example La Oroya is now the mining centre. Yauli remains the same - stagnant.

How old is Yauli?
Phew, itís ancient. Since the Spanish arrived and a few people, four or five came to live here... so the history of the village began. Itís great the history.

And since that time they've survived as animal farmers?
Since that time itís been a livestock community - there weren't any miners. Of course, further up by Conococha there were, over there, on what they call Cerro Santiago, there are mines [which date] from the Spanish, which are still there if I remember rightly. But there weren't any mines here, this is more recent with the arrival of the gringos ....

There are old mines further up there?
Yes, there are a number of mines.

Is that where the Incas lived?
Yes, the Incas lived there, then the Spanish arrived. This is the history I can tell you for now. Please excuse me...

Thankyou, thankyou very much.