It’s an exciting time in Q’eros, as earlier this month cuyes were delivered to each family for the commencement of the cuy breeding project. This is a family-centered project, and everyone has labored together to prepare for its launch. The men have secured pastures and built fencing. Children worked alongside their parents to till the land and plant grass for grazing. The women built cuy breeding houses or pens to keep the cuyes safe from predators. Finally, the moment of great anticipation has arrived.

Q'eros cuy breeding 1

Cuy has been a revered source of meat in the Andes for hundreds of years. This culinary dish is famous throughout Peru and is loved by locals and tourists alike. Its meat is high in protein and low in fat, making it an ideal food supplement to the Q’ero diet of mostly potatoes. In addition, Q’ero families will get a good price for each cuy sold in urban markets. With their earnings they can purchase essential food staples, like salt and oil, and obtain supplies to keep the project going.

Q'eros cuy breeding 2

Roughly 700 cuyes were distributed. Three females and one male cuy were delivered to each family.

Talk About Sustainability

Female cuyes begin breeding by the age of 4-8 weeks. Gestation lasts only 2 months with 2 to 5 pups born on average. After a female cuy gives birth, she is able to conceive again within 2 to 15 hours.

Q'eros cuy breeding 3

Deliveries went late into the night and brought smiles to the young and old alike.

Q'eros cuy breeding 4

Q'eros cuy breeding 5

Cuy pens are constructed inside or adjacent to Q’ero homes.

Hard Work and Desire Make it Happen

Rapid breeding habits of cuyes make them an ideal source for sustainable food, but it’s the Q’ero people and their contribution to this project that are the core of its sustainability. Going forward, Heart Walk Foundation will provide training on technical aspects of cuy breeding, but it will be the community’s responsibility to manage and maintain the project with proceeds they earn from selling their own cuyes at market.

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Your generosity and love for the Q’ero people have helped them advance themselves, giving them trade skills and economic means to improve their lives. Thank you for responding to their efforts and desires; you are making dreams come true.