Giving something back – volunteering at Huchuy Yachaq

by on 13th November, 2014

Volunteering at Huchuy Yachaq

Our own María Lucas Jaqueti is spending a month taking part in the daily activities at the community project Andean Trails supports at Huchuy Yachaq, Cusco, Peru.

Here she shares her first week’s experiences.
She writes:

“Above the Cusco valley, with a panoramic view of the city, Huchuy Yachaq Community Project scrambles to make a more favourable environment in the marginalised community of Hermanos de Ayar.

This area has the highest rates of poverty and violence in Cusco. The community also suffers from a lack of water and sanitary services.

What´s astonishing is that this huge project is run by only three women, and to see how they can coordinate the whole thing is amazing.


Teach, mediate, social work

These women not only work as teachers for the children of the area, but also as mediators and social workers for the whole community.

The project is focused on educational activities for the children, encouraging them to attend classes and providing a space for games sessions and craft workshops.

Adolescents and parents are also invited to the project. They participate in discussions and talk about the home/community environment and employment opportunities.

I have seen Marlene Quispe, the project director, mediate with the parents of a child, preventing the domestic violence that the youngster was suffering. Marlene went on to give the parents advice on how to make a better home environment for each of their seven children, plus some health care help.


huchuy-yachac kids project Cusco peru

Huchuy Yachaq, kids project, Cusco, Peru


Always more to do

As Marlene pointed out, there is always more to be done. She said: “We need more specialised staff, a psychologist for example, is needed so we can give people the correct advice.”

In my first week here, I have come to realise the importance of this centre for the whole community of Hermanos de Ayar. It has become a meeting place for the whole community and the core connection for all of them to get to know each other, share their problems and offer mutual support.

The local women now run three-day jewellery workshops, where tourists and volunteers can learn the silver thread techniques used to make the handicrafts that the project sells.


Get involved

All Andean Trails’ travellers are invited to visit the community project at Hermanos de Ayar.

If you are in Cusco this Christmas, Andean Trails is also helping to organise a Christmas celebration with food and gifts. All this work requires complete dedication and what they are able to do is just amazing.”


huchuy-yachac project cusco-peru

Huchuy Yachaq project, Peru


Contact us and get involved with Huchuy Yuchaq.




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