Food Security Projects

As of 2004, the Q’ero subsisted on potatoes for every meal. Since then Heart Walk Foundation has funded greenhouses and other projects to ensure adequate food resources in Hapu and Quico villages. Every year new families need the vital nutrition provided by a greenhouse and trout farming. 

Greenhouses

IMG_0836-medIn the course of our first few years of visiting with Q’ero families in a number of villages, we were struck by their daily diet consisting of only potatoes for every meal. They rarely ate meat and never any fruits or other vegetables.

To improve nutrition for the children, in 2010 we funded 7 greenhouses, one for each school we were assisting. The parents learned to raise vegetables to prepare for the children’s school lunches. The project was so successful that almost every family requested a family-sized greenhouse.

We have since funded over 110 family greenhouses, with labor provided by each family. We have also distributed donated heirloom seeds and promoted seed saving in the villages. Our goal is to fund a few more greenhouses each year for new young families. The immense value of the greenhouse project is reflected in the children’s improved health and vitality.

We can provide a family materials to build its own greenhouse for just $500. Other donations go towards the purchase of heirloom seeds, small animals, and trout fingerlings. Start your own small fundraising project or make a donation to support Q’ero food supplies.

Trout

Fish-BackgroundsThe diet of Q’ero families rarely includes protein.  The communities expressed much enthusiasm to develop a trout project to supplement their subsistence diet of potatoes.  In 2009, we began investing in river-based trout aquaculture projects. The rivers that tumble down the mountains already held small but highly prized rainbow trout.  In 2013, we collaborated with a marine biologist to refine our approach and subsequently shifted our focus to regional stocking alpine lakes that were favorable to support trout populations.

Since that year Heart Walk Foundation has stocked 12,500 trout fingerlings in numerous lakes in the Hapu Q’ero and Quico Q’ero territories. We are delighted to report that some of the trout grow as large as 5 pounds.

Small Animals

In 2015 we responded to a request by one community to fund several chickens per family for egg production. This trial project could be expanded if successful.  In addition, all communities would like to raise cuy, a favorite traditional food of the Andes. This requested project is under evaluation.