Photo Album

Enjoy browsing through a photograph album of the people, places and products that bring you Whole World Botanicals. For a closer view of any of these pictures, please click on the thumbnail image. For a description of the image (if available), hold your mouse over the thumbnail.

All photographs on this Web site, except whether otherwise credited, are copyright by Elena Rojas, and are used by permission.

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The People
Dr. Viana Muller, President of Whole World Botanicals with members of a community who own their land and who make communal decisions about its use. They have just signed an agreement to produce maca in Whole World Botanicals. Using their traditional methods of a long fallow period and no pesticides or chemical fertilizers. At Viana's request, the woman President of the community was involved to the signing and her signature was official to the agreement along with the male president's signature. Andean gender relations have traditionally been complementary and equal, but these principles have been weakened by domination first by the conquering Incas and then, much more severely by the Spanish conquest. Women of this community cultivate their own fields and maintain their own tool house where they store their own farm implements.Visitors to a hamlet which must be entered on foot, in the highest elevation of human settlement in Huancavalica. The people who live here grow maca and graze the sheep and cattle on the native grass. The grass is used as kindling to start fires for cooking, warmth, and also for mattresses to sleep on. Animal dung is used as fuel to keep the fire burning. These little angels from Yarinacocha, or jungle settlement, followed Elena Pujas, co-founder of Whole World Botanicals like the Pied Piper when they saw her camera, asking to have their picture taken! Plank house with thatched roof typical of the towns in the clearings of the rainforest. These children are fearless and play joyfully together without quarreling. They are open and friendly with adults. Elena Rojas, co-founder of Whole World Botanicals, with one of the families who received a loan from WWB which enabled them to plant their first maca crop.  (Photo by Viana Muller) Don Guillermo's granddaughter center with her 2-year old daughter, Viana Ancn, named after Viana Muller, co-founder of Whole World Botanicals (left). From left, top, Don Guillermo, her husband and her father. Our group stopped to strip a bark with medicinal properties from trees growing along a tributary of the Ucayals River in the Peruvian Amazon region. Don Guillermo was our guide. Don Guillermo's son, wearing traditional Shipiho clothes. He was educated by missionaries and speaks reads and writes both Shipiho and Spanish. He translated his fathers book into Spanish. Don Guillermo, lovingly described by Nicole Maxwell in her enchanting book, Witch Doctor's Apprentice. He is a Shipiho, very skilled in herbal medicine. He is also an intellectual, educated by missionaries who can read and write in his native language. He has written an illustrated history of the Shipiho People. Whole World Botanicals provided funding to have it translated into Spanish. Don Guillermo is wearing the traditional wardrobe of a Shipiho head man. Notice the cross motif in the desgn. Although this area has been contacted by missionaries for 400 years, some say the cross design comes from the Southern Cross seen in the sky of the Southern hemisphere. Don Guillermo's crown of brightly colored tropical bird feathers was damaged and he was unable to get it repaired. He decided to cover his head with a handkerchief. The "Tranquilo" or peaceful is the boat Viana Muller and Elena Rojas set out on at dawn with Don Guillermo his assistants, to collect medicinal plants. next day, made a big fire put pot of herbs over it simmer for an hour half. Viana Muller, President of Whole World Botanicals interviewing a local woman on her preparation and consumption of maca. Fifty interviews were completed. Peruvian women from the highlands are renowned for the exquisite textiles which they produce. The wool from the local sheep is sheered, carded and twisted into yarn, which is dyed and then woven using traditional designs. Hat styles have changed over the last 50 years and four or five different styles are now currently popular. p22.jpg (7879 bytes)

Photos of Peru
A beautiful fertile valley below the maca-growing regions. The valley's green kiwicha, and other highly nutritious Andean crops. Although this native hamlet, 15,000 ft. above sea level, looks isolated, it is not. Family groups share communal land and elect their own officials. They travel weekly to lively markets when they spend the day and they come together for traditional festivals at intervals throughout the year. The people of the high Andes of Peru live in adobe homes with thatched roofs. Fresh water lagoons near the highest communities on earth (14,800 ft. above sea level) in the central Andes of Peru. This area looks remarkably like areas at a similar altitude in Tibet. The soils are rich in minerals and mining has been an important activity since the time of the Incas. The cat's claw (una degato), botanical name, Uncaria tomentosa plant in flower. At the festival of Santiago (St. James) which is celebrated in the 3rd week of July each year, the Huancas decorated their animals with ribbons which are worn throughout the year. The Huancas were an Andean nation which predated the Incas and the Spanish conquest. This festival was originally a celebration of animal fertility and has nothing in common with the celebration of St. James Saint's Day in Europe. Pre-Christian spiritual from the puna (high plateau) are evoked and the animals are forcibly fed leanest chicka been, thus entering the circle of human celebration of their fertility. The majestic Andes at 16,000 feet above sea level seen from the road leading to a maca growing region. An actual "Cat's Claw" twig from the Uncaria tomentosa vine against a painting of the Peruvian rainforest.

The Maca Harvest
Natural fresh maca.