History, Mission, Values



    The Instituto de Montaña was established in Peru in 1996 as the Andes Program of The Mountain Institute (TMI). This was a time of rapid social change in the mountain communities of the northern Andes. The following two decades saw rapid economic growth nationally, with an expansion of urbanization and economic opportunities in coastal areas plus increased labor markets in the mining, energy and tourism industries. This coincided with a rapid decline in traditional livelihoods in remote mountain communities. As a consequence, mountain habitats steadily declined along with the biodiversity that depends on these fragile ecosystems. Mountain communities were perceived as lacking the conditions and capacity to participate in Peru’s fast expanding economy.

    To address these issues, the Instituto de Montaña has developed comprehensive, community-based projects designed to help locals diversify their livelihoods. Our inclusive approach has lead to innovative solutions and more sustainable local economies that respect and conserve plants native to mountain areas and the wildlife that depend on high mountain ecosystems. The Instituto de Montaña has become recognized as one of the leading non-governmental organizations in Peru and is now an independent non-profit. It’s headquarters is in Lima, Peru.

    Read more here about Instituto de Montaña’s history.


    In this world that faces unprecedented changes, the Instituto de Montaña supports men and women in mountain communities so that they can prosper in healthy environments based on sustainable economies, ecosystem conservation, research and innovation, all founded on their own cultures and spirituality.


    PARTICIPATION: We facilitate participative proceses that strengthen local leadership, based on dialogue that combines local knowledge with scientific findings.
    EFFECTIVENESS: In all our projects we generate sustainable solutions and proceses with impact.
    ALIANCES AND TEAMWORK: We work as a team and as part of a network with our partners and colleagues.
    CULTURAL SENSITIVITY: We work with cultural sensitivity and fluency in communities where we work and with our partners and colleagues.
    INTEGRATION: We integrate environmental conservation, economic development and cultural affirmation.
    TRANSPARENCY: Our work is based on honesty and mutual responsibility. We see this transparency as fundamental to social and economic accountability.
    LONG TERM COMMITMENT: To the communities, governments and regions where we work.
Since 1972 The Mountain Institute has partnered with remote mountain communities in the highest, longest and oldest mountains of the world. We work together to conserve ecosystems, develop sustainable livelihoods and protect unique mountain cultures.