Aurora Luna, Alfalit, Peru

Perú 3The limited access to education, work, health, justice and political participation, as well as various forms of violence hinder the development of women in conditions of equality.

With the aim to address such problems, the Alfalit Peru organization held a workshop for women from the districts of Chupa and Arapa, in the province of Azagnaro, Puno Region. The topics addressed were: rural leadership, soil treatment and productive organisation. Specialists and technicians attended, aiming to foster participation of women. All workshop proceedings were translated into Quechua. To further facilitate participants’ comprehension, organizers pointed to examples from daily experience and places where men and women participate that need greater involvement by women.

Perú 1The participants appreciated learning basic elements of good communication through interactive dynamics, sharing experiences in the preparation and use of biological fertilisers and insecticides in organic farming; sharing experiences on choosing and preserving seeds as well as care and upkeep and the most adequate tools.

Participants became acquainted with Cuzco’s  “water harvest“ experience and its construction and maintenance of large natural reservoirs. Puno, a region with a very long dry season, is a prime location for replicating these experiences during the region’s rainy season. The workshop also addressed the ecological cultivation of quinoa as a value-added commodity on great demand internationally. Because quinoa cultivation is still rather limited, farmers must not miss the opportunity to market the crop. However, expansion of quinoa cultivation and marketing requires greater preparation and technical guidance.

Difficulties encountered including the following: slow municipal government response for coordination; limited experience of women in workshop participation; the time required for translation into Quechua; the distance from communities; and the lack of transportation for participants.

Production and Cultural Experiences Presentation

We exhibited and sold nutritious foods such as bread enriched with quinoa. A dance competition was held, and traditional dishes and healthy food were offered. One woman stood out for having sold great quantities of quinoa bread. Awards were presented to women of the first, second and third stands who prepared natural fertilisers and bio-insecticides. The workshop enthused women who promised to share their newly acquired knowledge with their families and other members of their communities.