The Inca were innovators in agriculture as well as engineering. Terracing like this, on a steep hillside in Peru's Colca Canyon, helped them grow food. Doug McMains/Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian hide caption

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Maria Nieves Nashnato Upari and Jose Manuel Huaymacari Tamani are teaching Kukama to children in hopes of keeping their "maternal language" alive. Ben de la Cruz/NPR hide caption

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Goats and Soda

To Resurrect A Vanishing Language, Try YouTube and Indiegogo

A community in the Amazon tries to save its disappearing language with classes for kids, a rap video, radio broadcasts and an online fundraiser.

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Peru's alpacas are blessed once a year, during rainy season. The blessing declares: "Let there be a great abundance of alpacas, so that the alpacas should be like the condor and appear to fly from one mountain to another." Courtesy of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco hide caption

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Standing in their backyard in Cochas Grande, Peru, Katya and Blanca Cantos, hold the fruit of their labor. The gourd at left shows scenes from a potato harvest. The just-started gourd at right will tell the story of an ancestor's epic trek. Josh Cogan/Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archive, Smithsonian Institution hide caption

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Mixed ceviche from Peru: The Cookbook. Courtesy of Phaidon Press hide caption

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Jenny Tenorio Gallegos, 35, in Lima, Peru, is being treated for drug-resistant TB. The treatment lasts two years and may rob her of her hearing. Jason Beaubien/NPR hide caption

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A man and his drone: Carlos Casteneda of the Amazon Basin Conservation Association prepares to launch one of his plastic foam planes. Jason Beaubien/NPR hide caption

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Researchers meet participants: (from left) investigator Jose Luis Roca; Dr. Ernesto Ortiz; study participants Rainer Leon and his mother, Rina Leon Chanbilla; and nurse Jennifer Rampas. Jason Beaubien/NPR hide caption

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This aerial view shows the effects of gold mining on Peru's rain forest. Courtesy of Gregory Asner, Carnegie Institution for Science hide caption

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Cholita, an Andean bear, was abused in a circus in Peru and is now in a small zoo. An animal welfare group has now received permission to take Cholita to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado, along with more than 30 former circus lions. Courtesy of Animal Defenders International hide caption

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A miner holds a nugget of mercury mixed with gold. The mercury is used to extract gold from river sludge. Rodrigo Abd/AP hide caption

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Goats and Soda

Going For The Gold Sends Mercury Down The River

Illegal mining in the headwaters of the Amazon is endangering people and fish hundreds of miles downstream.

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Greenpeace activists stand next to massive cloth letters next to the hummingbird geoglyph at Peru's sacred Nazca lines. The Peruvian government is pursuing criminal charges against the activists. Rodrigo Abd/AP hide caption

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In Peru's annual Blood Festival, a condor is tied to the back of a bull and tries to gouge its eyes, while the bull attempts to shake off the giant bird. The event is popular in many parts of the country, but conservationists say this threatens a bird already at risk. Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato for NPR hide caption

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