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Sustainable Living Project
with the Q’eros Community

Located in the Cuzco Region, Peru, this project is a joint effort of Living Bridges Foundation and Seeds for the Andes/MUHU of Cuzco, Peru.


q'ero youngster

A Young Q'eros


The People

The Q’eros are a Quechua-speaking people who live in five large (30 to 35 homes each) and several smaller clustered villages in the mountains of south-central Peru at altitudes ranging up to 16,000 ft. Aided by these high altitudes and the resulting protection from contact, the Q’eros lived in relative isolation from outside influence until approximately 1950.

The Q’eros are still the guardians of an extremely rich Inka cultural tradition. They are thus a proud but humble people who now dwell in relative poverty due to the deterioration of their natural homelands from conditions largely related to the introduction of “range” animals whose habits have eroded the terrain and polluted the few streams.

According to the survey conducted by our field team in Oct, 1998 the infant mortality in the community is close to 50%,mainly due to complications of parasite infestation.


Peruvian Economic Hayde interview Luisa Quispe of Coccomocho

The Project

Upon invitation by Claudio Quispe of Q’ero and because of the dedicated work of Seeds for the Andes Foundation (MUJU) Director, Richard Aguayo Rodriquez, Living Bridges Foundation Director, Donna R. Runnalls was able to participate with the people of the Q’eros Communities in the development of a beautiful five-stage project for the community of Q’eros.

The project includes potable water systems, pastureland restoration, irrigation systems, and bilingual school programs for the preservation of cultural and spiritual traditions (myth, music, dance and healing practices).

Digging water line

Building Pipeline



Welcoming Water
(Dark, isn't it)


Blessing the Water

First Priority-Potable Water

Thanks to a generous grant from an anonymous donor, a qualified team of building supervisors and an engineer began Phase One of the installation of water systems in June 1999 in the annexes of Charcapata, Chua Chua, Ccollpacucho and Chaupimayo (sub-annex of Ccollpacucho).

In most annexes the water supply serves twenty to thirty-five families. Workshops instructing the community on maintenance of water systems are provided during the installation phase of each water system.

A qualified team of engineers and workers organized by Muju Seeds for the Andes and Director Richard Aguayo Rodriquez began Phase One of the Project. Muju Seeds carried out the remainder of the work. Living Bridges oversaw and acted as fiscal agent for the Project.

Status Report

Phase I - Completed
Phase II - Completed
Phase III - Completed

Community Greenhouses—Next Step

A pilot greenhouse project was established in the village of Charcapata in June of 2000. This 9 month. project is managed by four Q'eros families. Organizers hope this introduction of non-traditional agricultural techology will improve the basic diet of the villagers.

The plans utilize existing abandoned stone structures for the greenhouses



Hatun Q'eros

Thank You

Living Bridges Foundation gratefully acknowledges the generous participation of the following individuals and foundations in donating funds to support the Potable Water section of the Sustainable Living Project with the Community of Q'eros:

  • Anonymous donor
  • Wiraqocha Foundation and its Director, Elizabeth B. Jenkins
  • Roy Gray and Dreammaker
  • Dr and Mrs. Larry K. Heath
  • Terry Ballantine



At Charcapata


Field Notes

In July of 1999 Richard Aguayo Rodriquez and Donna R. Runnalls accompanied by project engineer Richard Vallenas traveled to the annex of Charcapata to witness the beginning stages of the water installations and to discuss the project with community members.

Field Notes (July 1999) by Donna Runnalls, Director, Living Bridges Foundation.

Return to Q'eros Community Projects

The Living Bridges Foundation
P.O.Box 667
Aptos CA 95001 USA


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