A shepherd journeys from the Andes to the Rockies

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A shepherd journeys from the Andes to the Rockies

In recent years, sheep ranchers have turned to South Americans to tend flocks
Peruvian borreguero Hugo Rojas uses imposing guard dogs – and his bolt-action rifle – to deter lurking bears, coyotes and mountain lions from attacking the flock of sheep he watches. Rojas oversees about half of J. Paul Brown’s 4,000 sheep.
SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald



For Hugo Rojas, the positives of his job – scenery, serenity and money to send home – outweigh the negatives of loneliness and canned food.
On Middle Mountain, above Lemon Reservoir, J. Paul Brown’s sheep graze on wild shrubs and grasses, including four-wing saltbush, shadscale and winterfat. Too much toxic sneezeweed, however, and the sheep get stiff and sluggish.
Rojas is accustomed to high elevation. His home city of Huancayo, Peru, sits at 10,700 feet above sea level. He has been home just once, for about six months, during his five years of working in Colorado.
Bayfield Heritage Days

Saturday marks the 13th edition of Bayfield Heritage Days, sponsored by the Pine River Valley Centennial Rotary Club. The event commemorates Southwest Colorado’s rural history and is held concurrently with sheep trailing, when the flocks descend from high-country summer pastures.

A rundown of events:



8 a.m. 5K Fun Run/Walk, register at Joe Stephenson Park.

8:30 a.m. Tic-Tac Plop, adopt a square along the Buck Highway (County Road 521). Squares containing sheep droppings afterward will be eligible for a drawing to win a $100 prize.

9 a.m. Running of the sheep, Buck Highway.

10 a.m. Heritage Days parade, Mill Street.



11 a.m.-3 p.m. Music and activities (Polish Highlander folk music; children’s art show; workshops and demonstrations for spinning, weaving and shearing wool; Bayfield “Antique Road Show”; quilt display at Pine River Valley Heritage Society Museum; homemade ice cream contest; draft horse display; and pie-eating contest).

5 p.m. Street dance, including live music, barbecue food and a beer garden.

8 p.m. Fireworks show.

8 a.m. Sunday Cowboy Church, Eagle Park.

A shepherd journeys from the Andes to the Rockies

Peruvian borreguero Hugo Rojas uses imposing guard dogs – and his bolt-action rifle – to deter lurking bears, coyotes and mountain lions from attacking the flock of sheep he watches. Rojas oversees about half of J. Paul Brown’s 4,000 sheep.
SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald



For Hugo Rojas, the positives of his job – scenery, serenity and money to send home – outweigh the negatives of loneliness and canned food.
On Middle Mountain, above Lemon Reservoir, J. Paul Brown’s sheep graze on wild shrubs and grasses, including four-wing saltbush, shadscale and winterfat. Too much toxic sneezeweed, however, and the sheep get stiff and sluggish.
Rojas is accustomed to high elevation. His home city of Huancayo, Peru, sits at 10,700 feet above sea level. He has been home just once, for about six months, during his five years of working in Colorado.
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Durango ~ Events
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