Yurac Yacu Project

Location:Yurac Yacu, Peru
Start Date:2010
End Date: Ongoing

Peru: Yurac Yacu Project 
Since 2010 in Yurac Yacu, Peru

  • Andean Alliance
  • Yurac Yacu Community Association

In Peru, Sombrilla partners with Peruvian NGO Andean Alliance. Andean Alliance is located in the community of Yurac Yacu, a high-altitude farming community situated at 3650 m elevation, at the base of the Cordillera Blanca Mountains. Andean Alliance is focused on supporting “grass roots” community development, capacity building and implementing programs that strengthen the educational and economic base of Andean communities while enhancing their social and environmental conditions.

Together with Andean Alliance and the Yurac Yacu Community Association, Sombrilla has been a major partner in the construction of the Yurac Yacu Community Centre, housing a preschool, library, computer space, a café serving tourists, a local guides office and a work space for the Yurac Yacu Women’s knitting cooperative. We have also supported the Yurac Yacu preschool for children from 3 to 6 years of age, summer school and summer camp for school aged children and the women’s coop. The centre provides the community with educational opportunities for children and youth, access to books, computers and the internet, employment opportunities in the café and the guiding office and income generation through the knitting co-op.

In 2016 we expanded the partnership as we began a new project, the Yurac Yacu Food Security Project. Andean Alliance had been approached by the local health post with a concern that many people, and especially children in the community were lacking important nutrients due to a limited diet available to them. Because the community is at high elevation many fruits and vegetables can’t survive the cold nights. The project provided greenhouses for 15 families allowing them to grow a variety of new fruits and vegetables. All participants took part in workshops focused on preparing the new foods and operating the greenhouses. Construction of the greenhouses was completed in September of 2016 and the first crops are growing. For the next year, the participants will receive support as they build their skills in growing in the greenhouses.

The project so far has been very successful and has led to more community members expressing an interest in starting their own greenhouses.