Image of The Week: Peru – Children of the Inca Trail

This image was taken way back in 1993, whilst I was walking Peru’s ‘Inca Trail‘ before finally making our way up to the UNESCO listed Machu Picchu. From all recent reports, the Inca trail has become massively popular over the last couple of decades and the hike now has a limited number of people who are issued permits each day (500 I believe and this includes guides and porters). There was no such problem back in early 1993 as the Shinning Path’s leader Abimael Guzmán was only captured a few months earlier, and at the time many parts of Peru were a no go zone, and dotted kidnappings throughout the country. From memory we only encountered one other group whilst on the 4 day trek, and arrived at Macchu Picchu with the place to ourselves, before a bus arrived earlier that day. The children in the image would always keep repeating to me ‘dolce dolce’, which translates to ‘sweet sweet’, please give me a sweet. As you can tell by their faces, I refused their request.

Peru - Children of the Inca Trail

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About the author

Jason has travelled the world extensively during the last 20 years, with overland journeys on six continents and across almost 90 countries. This site serves as a chronicle of the images and tales from these journeys, as well as offering advice and general information for other like minded travellers.

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  • Dave from The Longest Way Home

    Great photo. There’s something about seeing a blond haired person in a situation like this that makes it have even more impact! Many South African photographers seem to be pushing this too. Enjoying your work!

  • Jason

    Dave – Yeah I wonder who came through this village 4-5 years before me, maybe the Scandinavians or the Germans? I like the way you’ve picked this up, and how you must look at an image and break it down in your mind. Thanks for the comment mate.

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  • Andi Perullo

    I think they were probably saying “dulce dulce” haha because “dolce dolce” is Italian and not Spanish. ;-)

    But anyway adorable!!!

  • Jason

    Thanks for the correction Andi. My English isn’t the best at times so basically I’ve got no hope with my Spanish.

  • Erica Kuschel

    I love their sweet faces (even if they were sad you didn’t give them anything.

  • Jason

    Erica – I know, what a mean bastard I am. I didn’t have anything to give them, but I tend not to give anything to children who ask for things whilst I travel. I wouldn’t have any hesitation giving food to their parents if they asked for it though, but that’s always a tough one as many people are just too proud to ask, even if there situations are a lot less fortunate than ours.

  • Peter

    There is something about this photo that just captures you and you can just hear the kids asking for “la dulce”. Very well done.

  • Jason

    Hey Peter, Yeah there were many times that I took photo’s along this trek, but this particular one I believe captures the disappointment in me not supplying them with their beloved sweets, and is why I liked it and decided to post it. In the real world it can’t always be smiles and happy faces.

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