Project #8798

Rural Health Access and Education

by Awamaki

Dear friends, 

I am writing to thank you for your continued support of rural health access and education in rural Peru. We are in the midst of some exciting and transformative changes in the program here.

As some of you may know, Awamaki started as a social enterprise working to create access to economic opportunities and sustainable tourism among the most marginalized populations of the Sacred Valley. The health program grew out of our volunteer program, thanks to the passion, ideas, energy and hard work of a number of volunteers we placed in the local health clinic between 2009 and 2011. Earlier this year, the health program - the work of which encompassed the medical clinic and health promotora projects described in this GlobalGiving project page - grew to a size in which Awamaki's staff and leadership decided it would do better if we were to spin it off as an independent organization. Awamaki is run by people passionate and experienced in social enterprise, fair trade products, sustainable tourism and global volunteerism. We are not, however, health professionals, and the needs of our growing health program were becoming more than we could readily meet.

As such, we are excited to announce to you the launching of Sacred Valley Health, our health-focused partner in community development in rural Peru. Sacred Valley Health is run by a capable team, including non-profit professionals and Peruvian and U.S. health professionals. In the last few months, Awamaki has been nurturing the organization to the point where now, we have decided to fully part ways, and wish our friends and partners the best as they complete the transition to an independent organization.

Donations to this project have gone to the rural health project as the organization made its transition. Sacred Valley Health has been busy launching its community health workers program, supporting the new municipal mobile clinic, amd building relationships with the Ministry of Health here in Peru. They have staff and volunteers working in seven communities, meeting with community leaders, recruiting women to be health promoters, and designing curriculum. Here in an excerpt from a recent blog post of theirs:

We are currently hard at work to complete the “community needs assessment” in all 7 pilot communities where Sacred Valley Health is launching a community health worker program.  This entails traveling to 7 unique (and quite rural) communities of predominantly Quechua-speaking people to obtain basic demographics and resident opinions on the general health of the town’s population.  Ideally we will design the curriculum for teaching our promotoras based on the survey results.  Thus far, the Oscar for most common illness/malady goes to… gripe.  Congrats to the common cold for making the life of the residents of Kelccanka, Yanamayo, Patacancha,Huilloc, Pampallacta, Piscaccucho, and T’astayoc more difficult than it already can be!

Your support has been essential during this time of start-up and transition. As you may have noted, I am now marking this project as fully funded. Some day, Sacred Valley Health may enter their own GlobalGiving Open Challenge and make a page on this site; if and when they decide to do so, I hope you will continue to support them through GlobalGiving! In the meantime, I encourage you to follow their work, and continue to offer your support to the organization as it grows and continues to improve the public health of the rural communities of the Sacred Valley. Their website is

Thank you for your committment to this project and to improving the lives and health of rural communities in Peru. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at, or Sarah Fitzgerald at


Horseback to access remote community
Horseback to access remote community

Hello friends,

Thank you for your support of the Mobile Clinic thus far. The project is steadily growing. As of March, we are regularly visiting five rural Andean communities with no other access to health care. We recently hosted a group of visiting doctors and medical students who provided free consultations and medicines to over 400 people in these communities. In May we will host another group focused on women's health. 

The mobile clinic project has been so successful, in fact, that it has spurred the creation of another non-profit, Sacred Valley Health. You can find their website here. Awamaki collaborates closely with Sacred Valley Health, and until they join the GlobalGiving community, we are happy to continue this page to support the project.

Below I have attached some pictures from recent visits. Enjoy, and thank you for your support!



Kennedy Leavens

Executive Director, Awamaki

impatient outside the exam room
impatient outside the exam room
taking histories
taking histories
hey! what
hey! what's going on in there?
dan in pampallacta
dan in pampallacta
oatmeal for everyone who sees the doctor
oatmeal for everyone who sees the doctor

The past couple of months have been very busy here at Awamaki Health!

In December, we ran our second mobile health clinic, and it was definitely a successful trip! Over the course of three days we treated 80 patients from three communities – Patacancha, Kelkanca, and Yanamayo. During this time we also continued to develop the monitoring and evaluation of our program by surveying 49 of these patients. From our surveys we learned that only 42% of our patients have electricity at home, and only 30% of our patients have running water. 71% of these patients say they have trouble accessing medical care when they need it.  

Currently we are gearing up for our next mobile health clinic, which will begin February 17. We will visit the same three communities, and hopefully provide care to many more individuals who are unable for reasons of economic, social, or geographical circumstance, to access the care offered in Ollantaytambo. The current rainy season has made the roads to these communities impassible by car, so we will be making this journey on foot.

Looking forward, at the end of February we will be hosting a group of 24 physicians and medical students who will able to make available more specialized services that the mobile clinic cannot typically offer.

Your generous support makes providing health care for these communities possible. We'll continue to keep you posted on our project, and don't hesitate to get in touch at if you have any questions! Thank you again for all of your support!

The November multi-community mobile clinic was a great success! Thank you so much to all our donors who made this possible. Check out the video to get a better sense of the remote communities we work in and the team that carries out the mobile clinic visits!
In all, we visited 3 communities over 4 days, spending an average of 5 hours on horseback travelling between communities. We saw and treated 100 patients in all, with a variety of ailments. We saw many common ailments, but these were punctuated by cases whose medical problems were amplified by lack of access to care. One man had a severe joint infection following an injury to his finger during work which had spread up his arm. Despite the debilitating pain and fevers, he could not afford the time off from work or transport expense of seeking medical attention. We are treating him for this and will see him in follow up next time we are in the community. Simultaneously and perhaps as importantly for the overall community health was our efforts to conduct community surveys to assess needs in each area. We educated each patient on the importance of handwashing, and conducted fluoride campaigns at local schools. 

We will be returning in the second week of December for ongoing care, and adding more communities on a monthly basis. Stay tuned for more updates!

Finally, we are very excited to be working toward a formal clinic in the valley near Ollantaytambo where we hope to offer a variety of services not otherwise available in this end of the Sacred Valley. More news on that coming soon!



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Organization Information


Location: Ollantaytambo, Cusco - Peru
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Annie Millican
Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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