Sustainable agriculture education in Peru is not accessible to campesino farmers. Oftentimes, agriculture extension implemented by local government uses a top-down learning approach that does not include a shared learning experience that values campesino farmers’ unique and traditional knowledge.
Since 2017 The AASD has been partnering with Escuela Agroecologica Ecohuella. Co-founded by three siblings, Julio, Yesica, and Yanet Nina Cusiyupanqui, Ecohuella, is a specialty school for campesino farmers providing hands-on trainings and workshops that respect the Quechua language, local learning styles, and traditions.
Through the collaboration between AASD and Ecohuella we adapt and integrate practices from various schools of ecological agriculture including agroecology, bio-intensive farming, permaculture, greenhouse growing, local soil fertility methods, and more. The resulting methods are adapted to be geographically and culturally relevant. All methods utilize local, low-cost resources, making innovative ecological cultivation techniques accessible to local farmers. Additionally, participants from our experiential learning programs visit the Ecohuella to work on the farm, learn about cultural traditions, and agroecological practices.
Upon entering Ecohuella, visitors will find a cuy barn, space for workshops, seed saving bank, greenhouses, plots with a biodiversity of vegetables, and a keyhole garden prominent at the entrance. At Ecohuella, there are biodiverse ecosystems that are rooted in healthy soil. Everything works in harmony. The vegetables are abundant and anything that would go to waste is fed to animals in compost, bocashi and organic fertilizers to help the crops in the fields. Seeds are harvested from the farm.
Everyday looks different at the Ecohuella. Chores and tasks come in cycles depending on seasons and the current needs. It might look like feeding 150 guinea pigs, watering the corn fields or harvesting tomatoes from the greenhouse. Not a single day goes by without an entertaining conversation with Yesica. And, of course Julio will always have some chicha to share. Come visit!
Ecohuella Co-Founder and Farm Manager
AASD Director of Agriculture Programs and Ecohuella Co-Founder
Ecohuella Farm Mother
AASD Agriculture Project Program Manager and Ecohuella Employee