Umasbamba is located in the central Andes region of Peru, in the District of Urubamba in the Cuzco Region, above the village of Chinchero.
Umasbamba is a Quechua village. Quechua is a collective term for indigenous mountain people of the Andes who speak a Quechuan language, despite having different ethnic backgrounds. This language was imposed on the original inhabitants by the Incas.
Quechua, Spanish. Quechua is the first language for most inhabitants of Umasbamba, and is spoken in the home and in early years of school. Later years of schooling are in Spanish. Young children and elderly women may speak only Quechua.
Umasbamba is a small village of only 32 families and sits at just under 13,000 feet. Everyone here is a subsistence farmer, growing potatoes and grains. All the homes are made of adobe mud, have no internal heating and are extremely rustic. Their homes have dirt floors and guinea pigs are usually scampering around the corners. The remote location has isolated them from many opportunities for growth, such as education and commerce.
Crooked Trails works with the president of the community to arrange and administrate our projects. We do so primarily in association with our partner Paulino Quillahuaman-Llancay from Chinchero.
Crooked Trails began working with the community in 2006 in partnership with Paulino. In 2007 we began work on “Seis Vacas Para Peru”, a cow sponsorship project designed to bring much needed protein to the daily diet of the people of Umasbamba. We funded and delivered 7 high-altitude tolerant cows. Since then, the community is using both artificial and natural insemination and has grown their herd to over 30 cows. In 2009 the idea was presented to us to help the community build smokeless kitchens which heat the home an extra 20 degrees and provided warm water as well as greatly reducing the impacts of prolonged smoke inhalation. Crooked Trails has helped build 30 kitchens to date!
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