Every day there are Cholitas (women in traditional dress) from Cuzco who come to the Plaza de Armas, the main square and nearby areas of the city’s monumental core to work. They pose for pictures with tourists who come to our beautiful city.
These Cholitas dress in the typical costume of our region. They illuminate our streets while showing off their beautiful hats, colorful skirts, sweaters they themselves have knit, and saddles from car tires on their feet.
Each morning the arise early and leave their homes to go to the different places where their work awaits: San Blas, Maruri, Qoricancha, Santa Teresa, the Main Square, and more. Some of them, especially the youngest ones, may leave home dressed like anyone else, in T-shirt and jeans. In a bag they’re carry their work clothes to the place they begin. When they arrive there the quietly change. Once ready they await the tourists wearing their beautiful costumes. The older women leave home already dressed in traditional costume and bring llamas with them to walk through the streets looking for tourists.
The tourists are impacted by seeing the typical dress of the Cholitas of Cusco and their llamas. They see them and feel drawn to take a picture of themselves with them so that the moment may be recorded in an image and the visitor can have another good memory of Cusco. The Cholitas do not charge a price for the picture. They await the good will of the tourist to offer them some money in exchange for the picture, however much seems proper to the tourist.
Sometimes they seek out the tourists and invite them to take a picture. When this happens they say in English, “Take a picture, amigo.”
Their charm disappears when someone from the city snaps the shot. In that same instant they exclaim, “Why are you taking my picture? They get mad and want to get paid.”
They are charming and have a strong character, like every woman from our city. Every day they perform their work creating warm memories for our visitors.