I am Cristina Suaña Coila, and together with my husband, Victor Vilca, started this enterprise in 2002 to encourage visitors to learn about our unique culture and participate in our day-to-day activities.
In 1993, at age 26, I became a community leader representing 10 women’s organization among the Uros islands. I've participated in a number of symposiums focusing on the basic rights of indigenous peoples, as well as the needs of rural women and artisans. In 2011, the Peruvian Ministry of Tourism (MINCETUR) presented our community with a first place award for promoting innovations in rural community tourism.
Uros Khantati is an endeavor to promote responsible and sustainable eco-tourism in the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca. Our objective is to promote unique, authentic and quality tourism, linking it to community livelihoods and conservation of indigenous culture and nature. This not only provides our community with a sustainable source of income but also serves as an incentive to preserve this unique ecological and cultural wonder.
The Uros are a pre-Incan people living on over 50 floating islands in Lake Titicaca, near the city of Puno, Peru. Our ancestors did not always live on the lake, but expansion and colonization by the Incas centuries ago forced our people to abandon our homes on land and establish a way of life on the surface of Lake Titicaca.
Our islands are constructed of totora reeds that grow abundantly in the lake. The islands require regular maintenance, requiring new reeds to be added to the top every few weeks as the lower layers decompose.
We call ourselves kotsuña, or people of the lake. We are not an agricultural people, and therefore subsist by fishing and producing handicrafts.
We thought Machu Picchu would be the most impressive part of our trip to Peru. Instead, we found the unique floating islands and the warmth of Cristina, Victor and their family to be our most memorable experience. Thank you!
— Samantha and Bernd, with Matheus (age 11) and Max (age 7),
Cristina Suaña Coila