A brutal winter is decimating a community in a remote part of the world


Llamas alpacas dying Andes Peru winter

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

In this July 11, 2016, photo, Agustin Mayta Condori shows his sick alpaca that he predicted would die the next day due to sub-freezing temperatures in San Antonio de Putina in the Puno region of Peru. The indigenous families that make a living from shearing the fiber earn as little as $1,200 a year. There have been several attempts to give alpaca herders a bigger share of the $150 million industry.


Most of the Northern Hemisphere has been swaddled in the oppressive heat of summer for nearly two months, but south of the equator, high up in the remote Andes Mountain, the weather is frigid - and its having devastating consequences.

In southern Peru, thousands of meters up in the Andes, sheep and alpaca herds have been decimated by bitter cold that often sinks below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperatures not only freeze the life out of llamas, alpacas, sheep, and other livestock; the prolonged cold affects the health of children and the elderly.

Despite Peru's $150 million in export earnings from alpaca wool, the roughly 120,000 families, many of whom are indigenous people, that raise that animals and sell their fur usually only get $1,200 a year - less than half of Peru's minimum wage, according to the Associated Press.


Below, see what life is like when frigid winter settles over the harsh landscape of the Peruvian Andes.