By Carrie Stanley | February 14, 2019

At the Heart of Quechua Benefit

The Quechua people have one major natural resource:  internationally sought-after luxurious alpaca fiber. But the modern marketplace is unavailable to the Quechua people. Economic change will not be easy.

The livelihood of the highland Quechua people begins and ends with alpacas. Consider that an average family of four owns a small herd of about 150 alpacas which provides 85% of all their annual income, a meager $100 per month.

Dr. Jose Mosquera, an international public health expert credited with substantially reducing parasitic anemia in the entire country of Ecuador, inquired about the general health of the Quechua community. He asked, “What is the most important health issue you face?”

One of the men immediately responded, “The health of our alpacas.”

The team, taken by surprise, asked, “But what about your children’s health?”

A young woman cradling a baby wrapped in a crimson blanket, with two small children at her feet whispered, “If the alpaca die, our children will not eat.”

This simple fact lies at the core of any effort to break the cycle of poverty in the highlands of Peru. With your help, we can change the future for these women and children. Our Alliyma economic empowerment program enables women to use their skills to hand spin alpaca yarn to earn a living wage. Our economic empowerment program, combined with our preventative medicine program to fight anemia and parasites, will enable these children to grow and prosper.

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