Tierra Fría

The Cool Highlands

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Altiplano is a high plateau located between Peru and Bolivia in Tierra Fría. It lies at an average elevation of over 11,000 feet! This plateau contains the world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, which is said to hold hidden treasure.


In Tierra Fría, farmers have had to adapt their farming ways according to the cool highland environment of this section of the Andes. They have discovered that crops such as potatoes, wheat, barley, corn, apples, and pears grow the best in this climate. These are the main foods the people living in Tierra Fría eat. But through adapting to this environment, the people have come up with the process of vertical trade. This type of trade allows people who live in one elevation zone to have access to food grown in a different elevation zone. Through vertical trade, the people living in the Andes are able to receive a better variety of foods as well as a more balanced diet.


Because this elevation zone lies between 6,000 and 12,000 feet, the temperatures are quite chilly. They typically vary between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with even cooler nights. The people living in Tierra Fría wear warm woolen clothes in order to protect themselves from these chilly temperatures.


Two of the main activities that take place in Tierra Fría are terracing and vertical trade. The exact definition of terracing is the creation of flat areas on mountain slopes for the purpose of farming. To do this, farmers cut fields out of steep hillsides, build walls on the slopes, and fill them in with soil in order to create flat land that is used for planting. This method goes back many centuries. The Incas had used terracing to create their great civilization. The exact definition of vertical trade is the trading of crops between lowland and highland areas. This is a way for the people who inhabit the Andes to receive more of a variety of foods and a better balanced diet. Through this way of trading, they are able to receive foods that they otherwise would not have any access to.


The people living in Tierra Fría have also adapted their housing to better suit the conditions they experience on a daily bases. Because of the high elevation and chilly temperatures, they create houses with thick walls out of stone or adobe brick. Adobe brick is a type of brick that is made by mixing clay with straw and drying it in the sun. These thick walls made of dense material serve to protect the people of Tierra Fría from the cool temperatures.

Works Cited


TCL Geography Alive!

Lesson 13, Section 5