“Support especially young farmers and their families to strengthen their efforts to revitalize and conserve their bio-cultural richness such as traditional food systems, native foods and their biodiversity.”
Puluy Pacha is designed as a route for agro-tourism, where visitors can have the experience of knowing about different aspects within the indigenous community of Quilcas, located 50 minutes from the city of Huancayo in Peru. The main activities are experiential and are developed around its agriculture. On this route visitors can visit the different agricultural floors of the community and observe their diversity of crops as well as experience firsthand the efforts that this community has been making To preserve and protect their bio-cultural diversity, their rights, their territories, their world view, their agro-ecological practices and other traditional practices.
Puluy Pacha is a way to help and value indigenous communities by understanding the important role of our bio-cultural diversity, sovereignty and food security guardians and how this work impacts the climate change crisis and the loss of biodiversity.
Another very important point about Pulay Pacha is to empower young farmers, future guardians of their traditional practices, knowledge including their cosmology and its role in agriculture as well as the conservation of the diversity of native seeds and the native food systems that still exist.
The main beneficiaries of this project are the farmers and members of the community of Quilcas. Sharing their knowledge, role and struggle assists in transmitting their importance to visitors. This is done in efforts to conserve their bio-cultural diversity as well as their sovereignty and food security, they also find an extra source of income by offering visitors natural and local products that promote a sustainable income based on what they already have (their crops). This is a strategy that encourages the younger generations to continue their roles as farmers; Otherwise, many young farmers or children of farmers’ families would be abandoning their lands and their traditional ways of living to migrate to cities and work in industries or businesses.
Quilcas is a native farming community located in the central Andes of Peru. Known to have the highest diversity of native seeds in the region from potatoes, to corn, fava beans and many more Quilcas is an example of what was once a common community in the central Andes and is now an indigenous community trying to survive. With a population of 4,014, 250 families are focused on native farming. The community of Quilcas is located outside of the city of Huancayo within the department of Junin. This community of native seed guardians starts at the altitude of 3,200 meters and reaches 4,700 meters. Quilcas has a total of 7,858 hectares and with each family farming an approximate 10 -25 varieties Quilcas finds itself being a living cultural “seed bank”. There are approximately 200 varieties of native potatoes being grown in Quilcas making it the community with the highest bio-diversity in native potatoes amongst other native crops such as olluco, beans, maize, quinoa, tarwi, and oca; within the department of Junin. Complementary economic activities include animal husbandry, traditional arts, micro enterprises associated with ecotourism, gastronomy and the production of natural products.
Through our partnerships with the Quilcas indigenous farming community and Yanapai another organization based out of Huancayo Peru Saphichay provides the opportunity for this community to thrive as opposed to just survive as farmers and artisans.
The Whole Community
Not all of Quilcas members are focused on farming some focus on weaving, ceramic work, wood carving, cooking etc. These community members participation is focused on using their particular skill sets and highlighting the art of the community by showing guests how their particular art is done from start to finish. Holding and sharing this knowledge of traditional art is very important in the path of cultural survival.
Quilcas has approximately 200 native potatoes and 200 colors of native corn. The community has created a space where guests can see the beautiful native diversity which they care take. This helps outside guests understand the importance of native farers and native farming’s role in ecological balance and conservation of local food systems.