The communities where we work are all located at over 3700 meters above sea level. They are very remote and difficult to get to during the rainy season. The weather conditions are harsh and there is extreme poverty here. This includes very limited access to clean drinking water, quality education and healthcare.
Peru is a country of immense disparities. The economy is growing but at the same time poverty is hardly decreasing in the remote areas. Apart from the scarce food supply, the inequality also shows in the area of education and healthcare. The inhabitants of the communities descend directly from the Incas and speak an indigenous language: Q’echua. Approximately 6 generations ago they were driven out of the fertile valley by the Spanish. The situation of this group hasn’t improved much throughout the years and it continues to be difficult for them to connect with the rest of the country.
The few plots of fertile land in the communities up in the mountains are getting more and more depleted, not only due to an increase of the amount of inhabitants, but also because of climate change (resulting in less water for irrigation). Potato is the only crop that seems to withstand these austere conditions. ‘Moving down to the valley’ isn’t an option. They don’t speak the language, don’t have enough income, don’t own land there and get discriminated. The current government is full of promises for this group of impoverished citizens. Unfortunately, in reality, due to many different factors, few of these promises ever materialize.
We work in in the Cusco región and are expanding to Puno in 2019