• Community Livelihoods & Enterprise

    Community Livelihoods & Enterprise

Improving Local Economies

Featured Programs

Medicinal & Aromatic Plants/Bio-Commerce & the Paramo

Medicinal & Aromatic Plants/Bio-Commerce & the Paramo

Remote mountain regions often harbor extreme poverty due in part to geographic isolation, harsh topography, limited livelihood options and workforce out-migration to urban areas. In response, the Instituto de Montaña has worked closely with mountain farmers in remote areas of Peru’s Piura region, focusing on cultivating and selling medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs). These agro-enterprises enable farmers to earn more money and meet their families’ basic needs while also protecting native MAPs and the important páramo ecosystem from destructive harvesting practices. In the communities of Huasta and Aquia we are working with many women farmers.

Building upon our experience and the lessons learned from The Mountain Institute’s MAPs Program in Nepal (2001 to 2020), we have expanded our MAPs project in the Peruvian Andes. Learn more in our Spanish photo story, Plantas Medicinales del Páramo.

Securing Mountain Water and Livelihoods in Peru’s Ancash Region

Securing Mountain Water and Livelihoods in Peru’s Ancash Region

Instituto de Montaña has worked with local communities, municipalities and universities in the Ancash Region of central Peru to strengthen local economies and increase their resilience to climate change related impacts. In this region water availability is decreasing while the risk is growing for glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Changing precipitation patterns, increasing temperatures and other climate hazards are all threats to remote mountain communities. We have helped municipalities advance sustainable development and climate change adaptation plans. Our work has also assisted them in leveraging public funds to implement their plans. The Institute helped build local universities’ capacity to provide climate change relevant training and undertake useful applied research. This research seeks to answer questions and develop solutions for local governments and communities. We also worked with community and grassroots groups to develop new livelihood options such as medicinal and aromatic plant production. This initiative has been made possible by funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Link here to more Andes Program projects.

Past Program

  • Inca Road

    Great Inca Road

    The Great Inca Road project was instituted in 2004 on a 7,000 km stretch of the Royal Inca Highway in Ancash, known in the local Quechua language as Inka Naani. This road connects six formerly remote communities, who now provide hospitality to visiting tourists. This boost to tourism in the region created new sources of income and development opportunities for the local people. In 2008, this initiative was replicated in a new section of the Royal Inca Highway in Piura, Peru. In 2009, through a partnership with World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the General Secretariat of the Andean Community of Nations (SGCAN), the program was extended to three new sites: Sangay National Park in Ecuador, and Nor Yauyos Protected Cultural Landscape and Huascaran National Park in Peru.

    In partnership with IUCN and the Abertis Corporation, TMI staff member Miriam Torres wrote an introductory book on Ancestral Roads and Biodiversity Conservation program. This publication served to introduce the concept of the Inca Road Project to local policy makers in mountain regions. In addition to the book, a traveling exhibit was developed to help spread awareness of the benefits of the project. The exhibit began at Huascaran National Park headquarters and traveled to other Inca Road sites, introducing the public to the project and its potential to conserve Andean heritage. In addition, TMI established a partnership with REPONS (Responsible Tourism) thanks to a grant from IUCN-Netherlands, supporting market access to community-based tourism along the Royal Inca Highway.
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.