Photo by Dave Anderson, Courtesy of Heifer International
Alpaca breeders gathered to show their livestock and sell their woolen goods at the first-ever Paqocha Raymi Alpaca Festival in October 2012. Two breeders involved in Heifer’s Alpaca Biodiversity in High Andean Communities project won awards for the high caliber of their animals. One of the awards was fourth place in an international alpaca contest. The recovery of the colored alpaca is one of the project’s components, and participants are working to improve and reestablish the value and breeding of colored alpacas.
Ignacia Quispe (right) at the Tinke Community in Peru
Day 4: Tinke Community Project Visit
Today we visited with Martin and Ignacia Quispe and their 5 children (4 boys and 1 girl). This community has been working with Heifer for five years. The Quispe’s received one each of brown and white male alpacas for breeding. Through improved breeding for finer, more dense wool, the alpacas produce a much improved grade of wool for sale. This results in the improved alpacas with finer, thicker wool and of one color (not mixed or spotted) to be sold for up to 10 times more: $30 versus $300.
Ignacia tends to the alpacas while Martin works in the field growing barley or oats. The alpacas know Ignacia’s voice and she takes pride in improving the stock of alpacas which is enabling them to improve their lives while sending their kids to school. The high altitude of this area – more than 12,000 feet above sea level – makes living challenging.
Steve Stirling, Heifer International executive VP of Marketing and Resource Development, is part of a contingent of Heifer staff traveling in Peru this week. You can read this group’s previous posts here.
In Fandene, a village on the western side of Senegal, palms are the most important trees. The oil is used for cooking, the fruit is grilled and eaten by both people and animals, and the fronds are braided into brooms or woven into baskets. These baskets take about 15 minutes to put together. They’re used to haul mangoes and fish to and from the market.