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

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco

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

itoggle caption Josh Cogan/Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archive, Smithsonian Institution

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

itoggle caption Courtesy of Phaidon Press

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

itoggle caption Jason Beaubien/NPR

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

itoggle caption Jason Beaubien/NPR

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

itoggle caption Jason Beaubien/NPR

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

itoggle caption Courtesy of Gregory Asner, Carnegie Institution for Science

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

itoggle caption Courtesy of Animal Defenders International

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

itoggle caption Rodrigo Abd/AP

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

itoggle caption Rodrigo Abd/AP

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

itoggle caption Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato for NPR

Potatoes come in all colors, like these Red Erik, Snowball, Cariboo, Purple Peruvian, Caribe and French Red varieties. David Cavagnaro/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption David Cavagnaro/Corbis

Dutch national Joran Van der Sloot as he arrived for a court hearing earlier today (Jan. 11, 2012) at the Lurigancho prison in Lima. Ernesto Benavides /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ernesto Benavides /AFP/Getty Images