It started in Arequipa. From there to Puno and Cusco, I would run into pairs of girls in indigenous costume cradling either a baby lamb (most often) or a llama. In Cusco, there was an elderly grandmother with a llama. Each time, I was grateful to tip them 10 or 20 soles for a picture—knowing full well that I was being used. So what! It was an easy way for indigenous women and their daughters to make some easy money, and I didn’t mind. (The only people who minded were the women who were trying to sell their handicrafts to the tourists—but I bought from them, too!)
Finally, here’s the old woman with the llama in Cusco. She was so sweet that she felt uncomfortable talking about money at all. I gave her 20 soles anyhow. She looked like she could use it:
I look at it this way: The Spanish Conquistadores ripped off the poor campesinos of Peru, stealing their labor, their lives, and what little they had for themselves. Do I feel ripped off? Not a bit!