On May 31, 1970, an earthquake in the Ancash region of north-central Peru sent a large mass of glacial ice from the mountain, Huascarán, down into the valley to on its western side, killing the 25,000 residents of the town of Yungay. Now, fields of grass and roses, speckled with few reminders of that day, make up that valley. A stunning presence in most of the surrounding towns and villages, looking up at Huascarán from the fields that were once Yungay is a particularly visceral experience. Dwarfed in its vastness, you are reminded of the immediate relationship between the lives of people and communities, and their physical environments. Today, Huascarán continues to play a life or death role in the daily lives of those who can see it from their windows- and those far away- supplying water for much of the region and beyond. But the mountain- and the fields of Yungay- supply much more that that.
Kristina Baines is our resident cool anthropologist. She’s been formally trained in applied, sociocultural, ecological and medical anthropology at Florida Atlantic University (BA, MA), the University of Oxford (MSc) and the University of South Florida (PhD). She has a strong interest in corn, how what we do in our environment makes us well, and using innovative methods to make anthropology relevant and accessible to a wide audience. You can find out more about how these interests translate into projects and pursuits by perusing the rest of our site, or you can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org