A Peruvian sheepherder in the Colorado Rockies

Photographs and recordings.


In the San Juan Mountains above Silverton, Colorado, photographer Braden Gunem recently sat with a Peruvian sheepherder named Juan. Gunem had been trying to interview Juan, who declined to give his last name. But Juan had other ideas. He took the recorder for himself, and, as his trusty radio played by his side, he told his story. What follows is an edited version of that story, combined with a collection of Gunem’s photographs from the day.

Audio slideshow edited by Ruxandra Guidi and Brian Calvert.

Elena M Lopez
Elena M Lopez
Jul 19, 2014 01:37 PM
This is beautiful. I didn't want his story to end. I'd love to hear more.
The Taylors
The Taylors Subscriber
Jul 22, 2014 02:43 PM
here in Arizona we may see the end of the overland sheep drives. the Dobson family were the last holdouts for driving sheep from the salt river valley (desert) to the white mountains (high elevation) for sheep grazing. these are historical driveways well over a hundred years old. yes, they impact the landscape, but the impact is not as bad as houses and golf courses that are permanent. the borregeros (sheepherders) were usually mexicano or peruano. one rode horse and prepared meals. the other borregero(s) walked the entire drive and utilized herd and guard dogs. a string of burros were packing supplies, first aid and provisions. to associate with these herders and see their animals in action is a rare privilege. and the privilege is likely extinct nowadays in Arizona.......as general electric would say, "progress is our most important product" ugh......