Project Peru // Q'ero
Vanishing Cultures Foundation, Inc. was created to support the indigenous people of Peru by preserving their spiritual lineage and supporting their economic development. Vanishing Cultures approach to fulfilling its mission is one that provides funding, practical advice and hands on support for each village project. We assist but never interrupt. We support but do not interfere. The village is involved in every step of the process. The input of the village is critical to our mission.
Our mandate comes from the word ‘ayni,’ a Quechua word from the Andes that means reciprocity or an exchange that maintains balance in the flow of energy from one source to another. This is the cornerstone of the Andean relationship with the universe as well as the guiding principle of our foundation
When VCF, Inc was started in 1995, to assist the Q’ero Nation. The Q’ero people live in the mountains of Peru, at altitudes between 14,000 feet to 19,000 feet elevation. They are a primitive tribe existing long before the Inca empire was in place. They live in primitive stone houses with no electricity, no running water, no heat, no toilets or kitchens, none of the simple things we all take for granted.
The goal of VCF, Inc, upon the request of elder medicine man Altomesayok Don Manuel Quispe, was to assist the Q’ero Nation to reclaim their health and no longer need outside assistance. On our first visit to the Q’ero people we did all the regular conventional testing and research. The basic health of these people was good and easy to work with to bring back into balance, however the real base of the problem was to find a way to bring clean water to the entire nation.
Yes it seems like a simple thing, clean water is one of the things we in the modern world take for granted. Yes, it is hard to believe that at extreme altitudes, surrounded by majestic mountains and glaciers, there is no clean water. Well there is an abundance of water, it looks clear and beautiful….however it is infested with every internal parasite we know. It took our team some good detective work with conventional medical tests to find this answer. Yes, intestinal worms…unbelievable, yes, directly from the frozen ancient glaciers at 22,000 feet elevation!
We have researched years to find a way that would be accessible to all the Q’ero families, easy to use, and able to withstand the primitive life style and difficult environmental conditions. VCF has heard others have built things for clean water in the Q’ero, however in our 17 years of personally working in the villages with the people, we have never seen any evidence of anything resembling any water purification systems.
Finally in 2011 VCF has joined forces with Waves for Water to bring clean, parasite free water filters to the Q'ero Nation. Our first delivery to observe the feasibilty was September 2011. After great success, In September of 1012, the Q'ero Mayor has asked for an additional 250 filters so every family in the Q'ero Nation could have clean parasite water for the first time ever!
We now need to collect an additional 250 family style filters, please consider supporting this cause and assisting this ancient tribe to all have clean water for the first time in their lives….
Thank you, Denise A. Kinch