June 24, 2019
The salt pans date back to pre-Inca times and are still being worked today. Warm salty water appears from an ancient spring water canal called Qoripujio in the side of a mountain and is directed into the hundreds of shallow ponds via a system of narrow channels. When the water becomes saturated with salt the flow of water is closed off and the pond is allowed to dry out.
The salt is collected by hand into sacks and carried off to the nearby town of Maras. Each pond is managed by a separate family from the community. After the salt is collected it is sold cooperatively.