Imagine yourself as a subsistence farmer, battling the harsh growing environment 14,000ft high in the Peruvian Andes. These challenges make it nearly impossible to grow more than root crops and a few grains, offering little dietary diversity. AASD partners with Andean communities to confront these challenges: amplifying their voice, innovations, and resiliency. We work at their pace and build trust, and we work where they need it – so while our principal projects focus on greenhouses, we also work with women’s weaving groups, beekeeping, and more.
The Andean Alliance started when co-founders Adam and Aaron partnered with locals Freddy and Ruben to build a school greenhouse to lower malnutrition. This model; bridging local, community-driven ideas to the academic tools of graduate students, is at the heart of the AASD. While to this day we continue collaborating with the same people we did in 2009, because we know long term relationships are a must, our family has grown as well. On the local side, we’re working with 15 communities, government officials at every level, and local leaders like the Cusiyupanquis to build GHs, train students and farmers, and explore other community challenges and ideas.
We also continually seek the brain and brawn of students and faculty in the U.S. and beyond. Just as community involvement is a must, from the first brick laid to the last seed planted our global partnerships continue to be critical to the success of our community projects. The long-term, cross-cultural relationships begun nearly 10 years ago have deepened and evolved into a mutually beneficial Experiential Learning Program connecting western academia with the highlands of Peru.
So how do we actually increase nutrition and economic opportunity in Andean communities?
Check out how Peruvian kids are Learning to Feed the Future and overcome malnutrition in our School Greenhouse Program.
Or learn about how our Family Greenhouses are helping Families Growing a Future, equipping farmers with tools for healthy and wealthy lives.
And don’t forget our beloved Demonstration Farm in Calca: a place for collaboration, experimentation, learning, and sharing.