Barbara Arcuschin’s travel to Northwest Argentina was manifold and inspiring. She documented her way through Argentina’s Jujuy province- a land of beauty, color, serenity and kindness. Barbara shared with Emaho this experience of hers in words and photographs.
Barbara Arcuschin’s journey to northern Argentina was, initially, a decision based on a fairly natural inquisitiveness to know the North of one’s own country. She starts off by remarking, “It certainly was an interesting travel.”
The Jujuy Province is located in the extreme northwest of Argentina and shares its borders with Chile and Bolivia. Describing her travel across the Jujuy Province she says, “Jujuy Province is composed of four distinct regions with each having its unique attractions – from the vast salt flats of the Puna Desert to the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a World Heritage Site, and towns like Tilcara, Purmamarca and Humahuaca, where the past is preserved almost intact, and pre-Columbian art is present in its entirety; and from the lush vegetation and crystal clear rivers of the Valleys to the incredible high jungle of the Yungas, a stretch of forest along the Andes Mountains from Peru, Bolivia and northern Argentina. Experiencing all these places left me inspired and renewed.”
© Barbara Arcuschin
Barbara reminiscences about the beauty of the region, explaining the strong colours of the land from the darkest of browns to the most orange, the vast open sky and the radiating golden sun. She adds that the colorful outfits of the locals seem to make the land acquire each shade of the rainbow.
Passing through Purmamarca, also known as the desert city, left an impression on Barbara that the place was desolate, almost untouched, except for the few who pass through it. From there on, Barbara went to Tilcara, famous for its dramatic mountainous landscapes and trekked through San Isidro de Iruya. Climbing mountains, crossing rivers, Barbara got an opportunity to engage with the locals and also experience their rich food and warm hospitality. Commenting on what she observed about the locals, Barbara says ” People have a particular look there. Women always wear a hat on their head, with hair tied in long braids. The men and women wear brightly colored accessories. The people are humble and hardworking. They use their natural resources to sell their own merchandise. They are usually very polite and will greet you even if they don’t know you.”
© Barbara Arcuschin
The highlight of Barbara’s journey to the northwest Argentina, however, was being in La Quiaca, a small city in the Jujuy Province, which shares its borders with Villazon- a town in Bolivia. Just walk down a tunnel and you enter another world of noisy traders, local crafts and much more. It’s a sudden transition from the quiet and calm setting of Argentina to the noisy and bustling markets of Bolivia.
This journey of Barbara ended with the realization of the things that are indispensable for living, about time and about showing kindness to people. She says that she’s more appreciative of relationships, nature, the little things in life, as also the colorful things in life!
Art & Culture Featured – Written by – Saraswati Banerjee
Photo Credit – Barbara Arcuschin