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Heartwalk Foundation

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 Twelfth Annual Trek to Remote Q'ero Villages  

On May 18 five volunteers from Heart Walk Foundation will travel to South America to deliver donations to isolated Q'ero communities and discuss project plans for the coming year in each highland village. The team will document stories of the elders on film for a cultural preservation project. We will launch a three-year project requested by every village to construct a total of 100 sturdy stone barns to shelter alpacas from brutal winter cold, reducing casualties from the severe winters. The HWF expedition team will also return with exquisite textiles sold through TribalStore.org  and private sales to raise funds for projects in food security, education,  and cultural preservation for the Q'ero people.


Thanks to our supporters, on February 26 we reached our goal to fund 100 greenhouses to give Q'ero families nutritious vegetables. After subsisting on potatoes for all meals, the veggies are a huge treat!

Gregoria in her greenhouse

 Visit our online Tribal Store 

Q’ero women are famous for their exquisite textiles of hand spun alpaca. You can support their ancient cultural traditions by visiting our Tribal Arts Store to purchase bags, ropes, shawls, coca cloths, hats and more for amazing one-of-a-kind gifts.

Weavers are paid fair trade prices to bring essential cash to Q’ero families. The remaining proceeds are invested in projects in the weaver’s community, including schools, training, aquaculture, and greenhouses.  


Woman Weaving

The weaver picks each individual yarn to create the complex sacred symbols.
Every textile is unique and expresses ancient Andean cosmology and
a sacred relationship with Pachamama and all of creation.


  SUBSCRIBE to our e-Newsletter to receive up to 5 messages a year telling how your support empowers our Native Q'ero partner to build a sustainable future for their children and grandchildren.
 Filming in Hapu Q'ero Communities. May 2014.
filming in Hapu Grande

Filmmaker Katherine Szewczyk trekked into remote Q'ero territories to film life at elevations over 12,600 feet in the Andes Mountains.  

Stacy Christensen and Gavin Whitaker joined Szewczyk and HWF board members and hiked steep mountainsides to document over eleven years of partnership and friendship between HWF and native Q'ero communities.  Watch for the new documentary film to be premiered in September 2014.  The film project is sponsored by Whitaker Studio and highlights sustainability projects including solar lights, greenhouses, trout production, and schools in a number of native Q'ero villages.  

December 4, 2013.  

In response to the severe snowstorms in the Andes that killed so many animals in the Q’ero territories, HWF will fund the purchase of the highest quality alpaca males for every family to use for breeding. These outstanding breeding males will be owned collectively by the communities to strengthen the line of future alpacas for years to come. As always, Heart Walk Foundation focuses on projects requested by the communities that will help them all sustain a more stable and healthy life of dignity on their ancestral homelands. 

Giving breeding alpacas to the Q'ero

  SUBSCRIBE to our e-Newsletter to receive up to 5 messages a year telling how your support empowers our Native Q'ero partner to build a sustainable future for their children and grandchildren.


"No one remembers us. Only you.”
 by Tim and Penelope Eicher 

  No one remembers us.

"No one remembers us. Only you.”

With these few words, the Native Q'ero people reminded us many times during our recent visit that our annual expedition into their remote territories in the Andes gives them dignity and hope.

We heard heart-breaking stories of suffering and inspiring stories of hope in every village. Together we reviewed their accomplishments and progress. We were impressed by their growing empowerment, skills, and dignity in these ethnic people formerly forgotten and abandoned by time.

Working as partners, we outlined possibilities for sanitation systems, more trout projects, and greenhouses for every family. We renewed efforts to record stories and knowledge of the elders to be published into story books for the children. We explored ways to improve education for all the children. We listened with heart and responded as good friends do – with a deep desire to see them achieve their dreams to provide health, education, and well being to their children and grandchildren.

Please share this story. Forward this URL link.  Share through Facebook.   


  Volunteer opportunities: 
  • Data entry at the convenience of your home or office
  • Manage our online handicrafts webpage
  • Host a one-hour "Peru Party"  to introduce others to our mission and the beautiful handicrafts made by Native Peruvian artisans. We will provide a short documentary, photo exhibit, and textiles. You invite your friends to share the inspirational stories. 

    To explore ways you can serve, please contact Melanie Kimbel