While in Cusco, Peru you are bound to head to one of the markets there. In addition to the hawkers selling anything and everything made from baby alpaca or Machu Picchu stone you will see little girls walking about dressed in elaborately embroidered clothing that is traditional to the Andes. Some are carrying younger siblings on their backs, some hold too-cute-for-words baby goats and all approach the tourists with offers to let them take their picture – for a sol of course.
While you do look at them and how adorable they look, it sometimes hits you that they are out working to make money for their family. Their job is to be cute for the tourists, which they are. The sadness comes from the realization that rather than having the luxury of being “kids” they instead must take on responsibilities for survival.
It is a way of life there and something we have to remember with a place that is so different from where we may live.