CUSICHACA

In several of the texts relating to the Sondondo and Chicha Soras valleys we mention the NGO Cusichaca which has been working in the Chicha Soras valley for the past 18 years and in the Sondondo valley for 13 years.

The Cusichaca Trust (CT) is a British NGO which was founded in 1977 by Dr. Ann Kendall, who continues to work as Director of CT. Ann Kendall is trained as an archaeologist and is an expert of the Inca civilization. Initially CT focused upon archaeological investigations in Chamana which lies at the base of the Cusichaca valley at the point where the famous Inca Trail begins. It is located within the Vilcanota valley in the Cusco Region.

 

One of the first studies undertaken at Chamana was of the pre- Hispanic agricultural systems located nearby. It was observed that the productive area during Inca times had been greater than at present. One of the main reasons for this was the extensive use of areas of agricultural terraces, which are found throughout the sacred valley.

 

CT initiated its rural development work taking into account two key concepts. Firstly the rehabilitation of terraced agricultural systems in Highland Peru would increase the area of land available for farming and secondly that using traditional technologies in reconstructing the canals, reservoirs and terraces would reduce the costs considerably.

 

After working in Chamana from 1977 to 1988 CT moved its operations to the Patacancha valley close to Ollantaytambo (Sacred valley) in order to implement integrated rural development projects in coordination with the Communities of Ollanta, Pallata, Huilloc and Patacancha.

 

Cusichaca began working in the district of Pampachiri within the Chicha Soras valley in 1998. Subsequently the NGO was invited to work in other neighboring districts. Work is now undertaken in 12 districts (8 in the Chicha Soras valley and 4 in the Sondondo valley).

 

The Asociación Andina Cusichaca (AAC) is a Peruvian NGO which is based in the town of Andahuaylas in the Apurímac Region. It was founded in 2003 following an initiative taken by the British NGO, The Cusichaca Trust, mentioned above.

 

Since its inception AAC has worked mainly in two Highland Andean valleys, Chicha – Soras and Sondondo, which are located between the Regions of Apurímac and Ayacucho.

 

Work has focused upon the management of climate change and improving living conditions in the Peruvian Highlands through the rehabilitation of ancient terraced agricultural systems, water conservation and the promotion of Andean crops. It works in close coordination with the Communities and promotes strongly all aspects of the Andean Culture.