We’ve been working with several families over the past year to determine what will be needed to implement a successful community-wide cuy project. At the Q’ero Cultural fair, several families showcased their cuyes with excitement and pride, demonstrating the viability of a cuy project for their entire community.
Cuyes are small animals bred for their meat. They were first domesticated by indigenous farmers in the Andes more than 7000 years ago and they continue to be an important part of Peruvian gastronomy. Cuyes are known to multiply rapidly and breed early, and they do not require much space to thrive.
The primary goal of the project is to support the technical breeding of cuy to improve the diet of children, elderly, pregnant mothers, and families living in extreme poverty.
Additional goals of the project include:
- uniting families in work that is self-sustaining
- reinforcing Q’ero values of responsibility and mutual efforts for the good of the family
- acquiring alternative economic opportunities for Q’ero families
- (for some enterprising families) acquiring a viable livelihood
How Your Dollars Help the Start-up of Cuy Project
This grand project will involve a total of 113 Beneficiary Families and will include preparing pastures, fencing, training, veterinary services, materials to insulate cuy houses, and much more. Once families begin selling their cuyes at regional markets, they will be able to fund future costs to sustain the project, such as regenerating the pastures, buying grass seeds and bran pellets, etc.
Despite the altitude and harsh conditions, these families have raised fat, healthy cuyes.
Actionable steps for the project include
- Construction of cuy sheds for better breeding and protection of cuyes
- Hiring a cuy breeding specialist to ensure better results in the long run
- Conducting trainings throughout the first year of the project
- Acquiring and distributing 4 cuyes per family to begin the project
- Providing adequate vet supplies and food pellets for the first year of production