Simon Reeve’s South America 25 September 2022: Episode 3 on BBC Two
Simon travels through the Andes mountains, visiting Peru and Bolivia. Simon starts his journey at the world-famous ruins of Machu Picchu, one of the glories of the ancient Inca civilization. But since the arrival of Europeans, the indigenous people of the Andes – the descendants of the Inca – have suffered horribly, and to this day they live in some of the poorest communities in the region.
Simon visits a remote Peruvian valley called VRAEM, where the mostly indigenous population farms coca leaves, the primary ingredient of cocaine. Simon meets the impoverished farmers and goes on a raid with the heavily armed Peruvian police to destroy a cocaine making facility.
Further and higher into the Andes, he visits the hellish informal mining town of La Rinconada. At over 5,000 metres, it’s one of the highest human settlements on Earth, and Simon meets the indigenous women who chip away at the rocks in appalling conditions to look for tiny fragments of gold.
Travelling across the border into Bolivia, Simon’s guide is one of the country’s famous cholas – indigenous women who wear traditional skirts and bowler hats. In the world’s highest capital city, La Paz, he discovers how the cholas have battled for increasing influence and representation in the country with the highest number of indigenous people in the whole continent.
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About Simon Reeve’s South America
Simon Reeve embarks on an epic five-part journey to discover the wild and remote landscapes of South America and their amazing human stories.
This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.