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Born in 1966, Hector de la Vega owns a substantial valley high in the hills behind Cusco, incorporating sacred Inca sites and farmlands that have been handed down for centuries within the de la Vega family. A strong social conscience led Hector’s father to establish Samana Wasi (The House of Peace) within the estate, a refuge for local people affected by years of military suppression. Its residents range from orphaned children to older political refugees left penniless by years of corruption. Hector inherited his father’s philanthropic streak, which is often mistaken as a sympathy for the communist Shining Path guerrilla movement, but Hector refuses to be drawn into politics. He is a fiercely proud of his Inca farming ancestry, although somewhat sceptical of the more spiritual beliefs of his forefathers. He devotes himself to family, farming, the preservation of his family lands, and the sacred Inca sites high in the mountains beyond his lands.
Dolores de la Vega is a direct descendant of the last Inca king - Atahualpa. A deeply spiritual woman, she maintains a passion for the Inca beliefs of her forefathers – the power of the sun, the earth and the concept of multiple lives. Her marriage to Hector surprised many, including Abuela, who feels that Hector...
The younger brother of Hector, Diego de la Vega has lived in the shadow of his older, more fiery brother. His loyalty to his brother is often mistaken for weakness, but Diego is the epitome of the saying ‘still waters run deep’.
Abuela is the local Shaman, said by many to possess spiritual powers that she uses for good or bad. She lives a strange hermit like existence, appearing and disappearing seemingly at will into the lives of the people of the Sacred Valley.
Jeannie is an American photo journalist, a child of the Peace Corps movement. She devotes her life to spotlighting injustice and inequality around the globe. She has come to South America to investigate the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, and the illegal logging and mining activity polluting the region.
Born in 1962, Augusto Manonegra comes from a long line of military ‘aristocrats’, descended from the Spanish conquistadors who ‘discovered’ South America. His grandfather was one of the military junta who once ruled Peru, but the election of a democratic government in 1980 led to the downfall of his family, and the seizure of a large part of the family fortune. Once earmarked as a future General, Augusto has devoted his life to restoring the family fortune, and building a power base outside of the military life of his father and grandfather. His ruthless ambition has led him to own several primitive gold mines. His ultimate ambition is to seize political power on whatever level his new found wealth will support.
Gonzaga hails from a peasant background. His willingness to ‘do whatever it takes’ has led him to a career in the local police force in Cuzco. He sees bribery and corruption as simply a mechanism to earn a proper wage from the job.
Son of Hector and Dolores. Raised in Miami, he finds himself alone, with no knowledge or real understanding of his family background. He determines to venture back to Peru on a journey of discovery.
A street orphan, Paloma was adopted into the family of Samana Wasi at the age of four. She is fiercely independent and determined, and is the first Samana Wasi orphan to gain a University education. She is pursuing an ambition to become a qualified lawyer, to ensure that the people of Samana Wasi have a strong voice.
Another orphan of Samana Wasi, Miguelito was rescued from the street at the age of ten, and has become the brawn to Paloma’s brains. Street wise rather than book wise, he sees the world in simple black and white. Although it is frowned upon by many of Samana Wasi, his street dealings and pick pocketing down in the city bring in vital income to the commune, that keep everyone fed during hard times. He sees himself as a natural leader.
Lourdes grew up on the streets of Cuzco. Determined not to become another junkie or a corpse, she has fought her way to become a low level lawyer in the local authority. Lourdes has learnt through experience – often bitter – and uses every feminine charm she possesses to make a better life, far distant from her hidden past.