The Runa Ayllu program component engages
communities in developing alternative models
of development that incorporate traditional knowledge and innovations. At the Potato Park indigenous
communities work together in different areas, such
as ecotourism; crafts; medicinal plants and natural
products; gastronomy; video production; and potato seed production.
of an ecotourism program at the Potato Park is providing ecoomic incentives
for conservation, especially by supplementing local income with value-added
products based on native crop species. This is
an important first step in dealing with various complex problems that
indigenous peoples face in their efforts to co-exist as traditional societies
in the fast-paced global community.
The project serves as a model for locally-driven sustainable
development in other indigenous communities and on the global scale, ensuring
appropriate community development processes and the sustainable
management of mountain resources.
The collectives seek a higher quality of products in traditional activities. For example, the gastronomy collective develops new recipes based on native products. They are in charge of a restaurant that caters to the visitors coming through the ecotourism program. The handicrafts collective produces weavings of high quality, and the medicinal plants and natural products collective works on developing new products. The resources gained are distributed among the communities supporting an
equitable economy, based on the traditional understanding of redistribution.