Vidal wakes up early in the morning, ready to begin his dangerous voyage to school. But before he sets out, he checks the fishing nets to ensure his family will have sustenance for the day. The Uros, a people deeply rooted in their tradition, are known for preserving their mother tongue, Pukina, dating back to colonial times.
As Vidal paddles for two hours, he passes houses where people are building new islands to live on since the old ones have begun to rot. Every three years, the Uros construct a new ground to stand on and a new roof above their heads. They start by cutting the roots of totora reeds in 30cm long blocks, tying 500 of these together with ropes, and soaking them in water for three months until they melt into one large block. On top of this block, they pile totora reeds up to two meters high, until a part of the block sinks in the water and starts to rot. The gases released from this under water biomass produce buoyant force that causes the new island to swim.
After three hours of paddling, Vidal finally reaches the Uro elementary school where he learns to read and write, in addition to his native language. The Uros may have a unique lifestyle, but their children still have the chance to learn Spanish and one day, leave their village for a brighter future outside.
Discover the fascinating way of life of the Uros through the documentary film about them. Witness firsthand the perseverance and ingenuity of the Uros people in maintaining their centuries-old traditions. Watch the documentary today!