The Nazca lines were discovered and studied by Maria Reiche in what was her lifetime project. Born in Germany, she moved to Peru where, attracted by the enigmatic lines and shapes found in Peru’s southern desert, she devoted her life to studying and understanding their meaning as well as protecting them. Maria passed away in 1998, without ever concluding her studies or really understanding the famous lines’ origin.
Her legacy lives on today through the organization she founded, now led by Ana Maria Cogorno, a friend and collaborator of Maria for more than 30 years. An open book of knowledge and a delight to be with as funny, witty and speaking excellent English, Ana Maria struggles to protect Maria’s legacy from desert raiders stealing stones and threatening the survival of the magnificent lines and desert shapes, and raises funds to continue to explore and protect them as the state’s budget allocation does not even cover enough rangers to supervise the large desert expanse in which they are located.