As of March 2020, we partner with 14 communities in the Ollantaytambo, Urubamba, and Huayrocondo districts of Peru’s Sacred Valley. These are vibrant indigenous communities, full of culture and tradition. They are located high in the Andes Mountains, anywhere from 9,500 to 13,500 feet above sea level. The native language spoken here is Quechua, a language that dates back to the Incan ancestors of this area.
Most people living in these communities earn a living through agriculture and tourism. Many implement traditional agricultural techniques to cultivate crops like potatoes and choclo, a native variety of corn. Some are expert weavers, using ancient practices and textile designs passed down through generations. Others work as porters, cooks, and guides on the Inca Trail and other treks around the Sacred Valley.
Each of these 14 communities is unique and governed by a local community council, the Junta Directiva. When approaching a community for collaboration, we enter into conversations with the Junta; then the community as a whole votes to work with Sacred Valley Health and elects women from their community to serve as promotoras. After promotoras have been established in a community, we maintain open channels of communication with the Junta Directiva to ensure we are working to meet community needs as they connect to our core purpose and values.