The Aymara seeds for co-operation:
women leadership and mutual support
Located on the high Andean steppes overlooking La Paz, the small community of Chacoma is home to 200 families of the Aymara people. The economy is small-scale agriculture with potatoes, quinoa, wheat and feed crops supporting the community. Each family works a small plot of land and also raises chickens and pigs to supplement their diet.
Associated families with a common vision for their future
In 2015, they established AIMPACHA, a producer’s co-op that is helping families to co-operate in the operation of their small family plots. The association has succeeded in growing organic lettuce, potatoes, quinoa, onions and other vegetables for sale in regional markets, and they also rear livestock. They are now working to build two additional greenhouses to increase production and to share the profits among the families.
CEF started supporting their efforts in 2016 by sharing 50% of the cost of purchasing common land by the co-op for the building of five greenhouses, and have also provided funding for education, training, and a capacity-building program for AIMPACHA’s members. In a second funding stage, CEF is partnering with Choice Humanitarian Bolivia to share the costs of building their greenhouses.
They produce vegetables like potatoes, quinoa, barley and onions.
The association has currently 30 Aymara members, 26 of them are women and 4 men.
This producers association was founded in 2015.
They are located in the community of Chacoma, inside the village of Viacha, in the department of La Paz, Bolivia.
Working to create social benefits for the wide community
Although they have a vision as a collective organization, in practice, their activities are carried out mostly as associated individuals. However, CEF’s current partnership with AIMPACHA is meant to bring them significant social benefits: they are already learning to work as a team in a commercial project; they are approaching their own development as a community-oriented venture, with a core productive model led by CED principles; and they are working to increase their incomes so they can diversify their diet, cover their children educative needs and access health services when needed.