Photo: Kathryn Oths. Title: Don Neptalí returning from the fields.

Don Neptalí returning from the fields

PHOTO: Kathryn Oths 

Chugurpampa, Peru. I first met Don Neptalí, 85, nearly 30 years ago while doing my dissertation fieldwork in the Andes. He was a campesino with a large family who suffered nagging ailments from his previous years working in freezing cold water in the high Quiruvilca silver mines. Though he still ails, he gets up and going daily, a testament to his strength and endurance. Though a bit slower and hard of hearing, Don Neptalí is of sound mind and enjoys recalling events of years past.