September brings the end of summer and return to school for many families in North America. For Heart Walk Foundation, this September marks the 15th board visit since our initial visit to the traditional Q’ero villages in Peru.
This year we will spend 9 days trekking to visit four villages. We will sit in council with our Q’ero partners in each location to discuss the challenges and progress of the projects funded by our donors. Each native community or allyu will submit proposals to continue our shared efforts to improve food security, protect alpacas from severe winters, improve health, and provide education for children.
Preserving Culture and Enriching Education
Heart Walk Foundation is also committed to helping preserve unique Q’ero culture in danger of being lost to time.
The Q’ero people are excited to continue recording their cultural narratives on film. For the last three years, board member Stacy Christensen has led a team of videographers to capture stories of this isolated ethnic minority living in the highest habitable region of the Andes Mountains.
The elders describe their childhood and the old ways of their grandparents while the camera is rolling. Mothers and fathers talk about their struggles cultivating food and their hopes for their children. Young people discuss their challenges moving between old customs and modern Peruvian life. The youth now hold in their hands the future of the Q’ero people.
The goal of this ambitious project is to support the preservation of the beautiful culture and oral histories by creating educational material for the children that is culturally relevant and respectful. The importance of children receiving education in their native language and culture has been well documented for decades and is strongly supported by the United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
This year, Stacy will be joined by filmmaker Seti Gershberg. Trained as an anthropologist, Seti has produced a number of films including The Path of the Sun, which highlight Q’ero spiritual culture. He also hosts Q’ero Mystics of Peru, one of Facebook’s most popular groups in support of Q’ero traditions.
We’re thrilled to have Seti on board.
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