7 Communities Respond to Glacier Loss in Peru

by Asociacion Instituto Andino de Montana
7 Communities Respond to Glacier Loss in Peru

Project Report | Sep 7, 2023
6th Report: Updates from Miraflores and Carania

By Doris Chavez, Paloma Rodriguez and Vidal Rondan | RETAMA Initiative team

Leaders identifying their ancestral technologies
Leaders identifying their ancestral technologies

Dear donor,

Our project "Restoration of Ancestral Water Management Technologies" (RETAMA) proposes to intervene in seven high Andean communities that have ancestral water management infrastructures and that currently conserve their ancestral uses and customs. The communities are located as follows: two in Ancash and five in the highlands of Lima.

This report details the activities carried out in the Miraflores Campesino Community and the Carania Campesino Community in the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve in the department of Lima.

1. Seven restored wetlands, sediment dams, and/or infiltration ditches use indigenous knowledge to secure water supply and compensate for glacier loss.

In Miraflores, based on a reflective analysis and in the context of glacial retreat and water scarcity, the community decided to recover the ancestral Patihusinca-Maizal canal. This canal, more than 1,200 years old and approximately 5 km long, benefits most of the community members: in addition to supplying water, it irrigates the terraces where food is grown for local consumption.

At the end of July, the community organized a cleanup of the canal. A total of 34 community members participated in the activity, organizing themselves into groups to clear the path of branches and bushes and to maintain the stones that form part of the canal. A total of 0.5 km were recovered in this operation.

"The canal has been maintained for the past 5 years. It is a very important canal, because the water that flows through it irrigates all the corn fields". (Lucio Rodriguez, Water Judge of the Municipality of Miraflores).

Meanwhile, the Carania Campesino Community remains committed to the recovery of the ancestral Anta canal. This canal is the main supplier of the community's andenes and cultivation terraces, where corn, potatoes, beans and barley are grown.
Thanks to donations received, last year the community was able to recover 1.5 km of the 9 km of canal. However, there is still a stretch to be repaired, especially in the catchment area. For this reason, a new recovery operation has been scheduled for mid-September.

2. Indigenous ancestral knowledge of water management is recognized as a nature-based and cost-effective mountain adaptation to climate change.

In the Miraflores Campesino Community, the recovery of the Patihusinca-Maizal ancestral canal will allow the recovery of the Canchia and Maizal terraces. This process has generated spaces for dialogue and reflection with the community members on the importance of ancestral knowledge and technologies as a strategy to adapt to future extreme climate events.

For its part, Carania is increasingly aware that, for better water management, it is necessary to rely on the technologies of its ancestors. Customs such as the Mama Shiña Festival (water festival) help to keep alive the respect and worship of water and transmit to the youngest the vital value of this resource.

3. The RETAMA community network has added new members and expands solutions to 7 new locations.

This is a long-term outcome that will serve to measure the broader impact of the initiative.

Verification of Tambomachay canal damage
Verification of Tambomachay canal damage
Community leaders welcoming the day's event
Community leaders welcoming the day's event
Cleaning and maintenance of the canal
Cleaning and maintenance of the canal
Patihusinca-Maizal canal after cleaning and mainte
Patihusinca-Maizal canal after cleaning and mainte
Carania's terraces
Carania's terraces
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Organization Information

Asociacion Instituto Andino de Montana

Location: Miraflores, Lima - Peru
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @TheMountainInst
Project Leader:
Jorge Recharte
Miraflores , Lima Peru

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