Location: Uros, Lake Titicaca, Peru [MAP]
Designer: The Residents
Project Type: Floating Garden
Completion Date: Unknown
People on Lake Titicaca live on floating “gardens”. The islands are made of totora reeds. The Uros once lived in the surrounding mountains but were pushed out by the Incas so they needed to find a new way of living.
The totora grows along the edges of Lake Titicaca, one of the highest navigable lakes in the world. Its dense roots support the top layer. Every 3-4 years residents must stack more reeds on the top layer to avoid sinking due to the reeds rotting.
The “floating gardens” change in size as residents choose. The surface is soft and spongy. Boats, houses and various crafts are made from the reeds. Their homes are waterproof but not humid resistant. Cooking fires are built on a layer of stones to protect the reeds. Women still wear the distinctive hats and skirts of their tribe.
© The Secret Garden Atlas, 2013