The agriculture initiative aims to decrease malnutrition and improve food security for high-altitude communities of Peru. There are three sub-projects: school greenhouses, family greenhouses, and the demonstration farm.
- School greenhouses are our flagship project, and they are incorporated into the school curriculum. The harvested vegetables go into the students’ lunches, so while students learn organic, sustainable agriculture practices, they also get a richer, more balanced diet resulting in decreased malnutrition.
- Family greenhouses are built in areas where students often do not attend school (typically communities in higher elevations). This is a new project for us, but we are very excited about its inception.
- The demonstration farm uses organic, sustainable agriculture techniques in combination with traditional agriculture practices. We sponsor workshops for indigenous individuals where they learn the benefits and methods of these farming practices for use in high-altitude regions of Peru.
2) Women’s Empowerment
The Social Enterprise project aims to improve the lives of indigenous artisans and their families by developing products that bridge old world artistry and modern utility. This project encourages cultural preservation and aims to generate income (studies show that when women and girls earn income, they spend 90% of it on their families). We currently work with one women’s weaving group in the Lares Valley creating “INKAcases”, a protective laptop case traditionally woven using local iconography and natural dyes. Ipad sleeves coming soon!
3) NGO Network
The Sacred Valley is inundated with non-profit organizations (approximately 200 currently work in the valley). While all have good intentions, the lack of coordination and collaboration among them limits impact, and in some cases, even has negative results on the communities. This is a new initiative that we are spearheading. We hope through the establishment of a governing board and providing semi-annual conferences, an increase in knowledge sharing, collaboration, and accountability will occur.