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Thanks Douglas, WC and Greg.
I never found out what they grew in all the terraces, but it was probably the same as for hundreds of years: potatoes, maize and quinoa- a nutritious type of grain.
Everything in the lives of the Indios was- and still is- difficult. Modern progress has mostly left them behind; walking and farming at such high elevations is very demanding physically. Among the physical characteristics they've developed over thousands of years of living in the high Andes is: They are short people, with very short-but-strong legs and large chest cavities (necessary because of the relative lack of oxygen where they live).