Who Are Campesino Communities?
In order to understand where we work and who campesino communities are, it is important to know the history and the impacts of colonization that have resulted in the communities becoming self-sufficient and continuing traditional practices. During colonization, in order to not become enslaved by the colonists, locals escaped into the Andes, settling at high altitudes reaching up to 14,000 ft (4500 meters). Centuries later, these campesino communities continue to be experts in growing potatoes, corn, and grains, making the Andes one of the five global cradles of agriculture. However, due to the high elevation, they face challenges growing nutrient-dense produce that thrives in warmer climates or greenhouses. This produce also tends to be more profitable with quicker yields and less labor than traditional Andean crops. Our work is focused on helping campesino farmers incorporate new produce and techniques into their existing practices, ensuring that campesino communities continue to be rooted in sustainability and tradition.