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Orange Cares takes a holistic approach to the sustainable development of our disfranchised people from remote indigenous villages of the Andean Mountains in Southeastern Peru. They speak Quechua (an indigenous language of Peru) and are the direct decedents of the Incas, known for their engineering ingenuity, including farming techniques, water irrigation systems and archeological masterpieces like the world-famous Machu Picchu. Working hand-in-hand with our cooperate partners and private sponsors, we have initiated a number of projects all in-line with our long term goals. Below are some of the core values we have identified as necessary in creating a healthier, equitable and educated society. A society that is able to be self-sustainable and continue to grow from strength to strength for generations to come.

Our initiatives

1. Alleviate poverty

No one, anywhere in the world should ever go to bed hungry. Such a simple thing really, yet thousands of people go to bed hungry everyday. For the people in Andean villages this is a common and sad reality, particularly during covid, when there were national closures, no jobs, no access to proper nutrition, and the virus killing people in thousands.

These are some projects that we have initiated and will continue to do in future.

  • Food baskets to all the porters that were left unemployed with no way to feed their families during the pandemic: (sponsored by Sam Travel)
  • Increase food production: Farming is a big part of life in mountain communities. During particularly tough seasons, when crops cannot survive due to lack of rain or harsh heat, most are left with no way to feed their families. During these times heading up food drives providing staple foods like, quinoa, rice, potatoes and legumes reduces the chance of families going to bed without food. We also do workshops focused on agricultural research and development.
  • Community gardens: These programs are centered around our school programs. We believe that you cannot attain and retain knowledge on an empty stomach. So these community gardens sustain a nutrition program that´s easy to maintain.
  • Nutrition workshops: The value of a nutritious plate is invaluable. We look at what a healthy plate should comprise of, proper food prep and the importance of eating some of the super grains indigenous to Peru like quinoa, kiwicha and other legumes.

2. Access to quality health care and sound hygiene practices

Our health education campaigns are closely linked to our nutrition and hygiene workshops. This is mainly because eating healthy food that´s prepared in a hygienic way leads to a healthy and productive society. Our health care initiates are mostly targeted at young ladies and women who have little or no access to reproductive health and family planning clinics. Simple hygiene practices can help avoid easy communicable diseases. Our aim is to also promote healthy living and improve quality of life for long term economic development.

Our projects include but not limited to.

  • Hygiene workshops: Hygiene workshops focus on two expects, food preparations and body hygiene. Food cross contamination is very common in Peru which leads to parasites, which then lead to stomach issues that can be mild to severe and ultimately puts a heavier strain on an already overwhelmed health system. On the other hand body hygiene workshops provide basic supplies, like washing your hands using handwash after using the bathroom and before cooking a meal. Brushing your teeth regularly and taking showers with soap regularly. Now this might seem obvious but all these things cost money and if a community is struggling economically, basics turn to luxuries.
  • Young ladies navigating puberty: Tackling mental health at its grass routes. This is best time to harness and mold self-esteem within young ladies. Its an ongoing project that wants to see not just a reduction in teenage pregnancy but to also build responsible and safe sexual habits. We want our youth to have full control of their future prospects.
  • Women´s reproductive health workshops: Lack of access to pre-natal care for pregnant women is a huge concern in indigenous villages in Cusco. Peru has the second highest prevalence of childhood anemia in Latin America. Some of this is due to poor nutrition in pregnant mothers and no antenatal vitamins. These workshops are crucial in delivering a healthy generation and help mother and baby stay healthy and avoid birth complications.
  • Family planning workshops: These workshops are not simply there for teens and young adults, but its a joint effort to give extend a hand to a traditional society where sexual discussions can be viewed as taboo. There are many benefits to controlled family planning like improving the women´s socio-economic status, educating on the ramifications of having a smaller family instead of a big one and greatly delaying the age of first pregnancy.

3. Gender Equality

There are so many facets to gender equality. It is imperative to view it as a means to strengthen our communities and not an attack on the opposite gender. The corner stone of equity is economic participation, decision making, valuing and allowing space for what is typically referred to as “women behavior”, respecting and promoting aspirations and needs despite gender.

Gender equality is and should always be viewed as a human right. Sustainable community development starts with women empowerment. When women are afforded the same opportunities as men to grow economically and professionally, society becomes stronger and better for it and are subsequently lifted out of poverty. This is not a myth, you just have to look at the leading countries in women equality like Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Netherlands among others who, unsurprisingly also top the list of countries with the highest overall quality of life. Cultural norms and attitudes are the biggest reasons why gender inequalities are perpetuated. Eradicating values that have been entrenched in people´s minds pretty much since the beginning of time is a complex task and is no easy feat. At Orange Cares our approach is to simply tackle it at grass routes level, every small change makes a big difference.

  • Literacy program: Many women in indigenous communities are illiterate and only speak Quechua. What that means is that they cannot participate in their home finances, their children´s education consequently their future and even their local politics that directly affect their lives. The literally program teaches basic reading, writing and counting skills, as well as entrepreneurial skills.

Other women projects are linked to things like health and nutrition. We want to see our women getting employed, successfully occupying male dominated industries like tour guiding in Peru or alternatively starting and managing their own micro businesses.

Our mission is not to change cultures and traditions, but to build upon them and create a thriving society where every person is capable of being self-sustainable.

4. Access to quality education

We can all agree that education is a fundamental right that helps us grow personally, professionally and socially. However for some, this not a right but a privilege only afforded to a few. Geographic isolation is the main culprit for lack of access to quality education. Other factors include gender inequality, cultural norms and poverty. There are also a number of ways to mitigate and close the education gap between more developed communities versus smaller and socio-economically challenged ones. First and foremost, investing into the communities with monitored spending, gives them a fighting chance to improve their conditions. We also encourage community participation so the community is engaged in its own transformation.

Our projects are targeted and all inclusive because everyone, men, women and children need to be given a chance to get a quality education.

  • Heritage Education: It´s important to understand the pivotal role played by tourism in Peru in order to make sense why heritage education is so crucial. Tourism is Peru´s third largest industry only surpassed by mining and fishing. However it is the fastest growing industry, it employs over 11% of the labor force and generated over 1.4 million jobs in 2022 alone. Machu Picchu is the biggest tourist attraction in Latin America. As a result, Cusco welcomes millions of visitors every year looking to learn about the great Inca empire and their archeological marvels. So, its not just a matter of national pride and a sense of belonging, but also a question of self-growth and becoming employable in Peru´s third largest industry. Every year, Orange Cares does educational tours to the most popular attractions in Cusco, our aim is to take it one village at a time.
  • After school program: Many children in Cusco have parents that work long hours, which means they have a lot of alone time at the end of school. This does lead to delinquency and there is no supervision for a large portion of the afternoon. Our afternoon school program plays many roles, we do homework assistance, encourage sport and art participation and offer a warm and welcoming place for our most vulnerable population.
  • Literacy Program: Native Quechua and Aymara speakers have often been excluded from the rest of the Spanish speaking population. The rural villages barely have any form of funding or infrastructure. They have no schools, clinics or hospitals. Because of inadequate government structures and services many work in the informal sector as porters on the Inca Trail, horsemen on the alternative treks or vendors that work extremely long hours in the streets of Cusco. Orange Cares started a literacy program for adults that includes both men and women and teaches basic reading, writing and counting. We also have special micro-business classes, whereby we help them improve their business operation skills and most importantly count and budget their own money.

5. Protecting our planet: Eco-warriors

Our planet is a very precious commodity, its the one thing we all have in common and the only home we have. Peru houses various ecological regions and ecosystems and is subsequently rich in biodiversity. It has 28 of the 32 micro-climates in the world. Besides Machu Picchu, Peru’s tourism sector has been growing in leap and bounds because of its biodiversity. Most notable is its terrestrial and marine biodiversity, it also has the largest variety of birds, butterflies, fish and orchid species in the world. Thousands of visitors flock into Peru to hike through the stunning snow-brooded cordilleras (mountain ranges) with extraordinary turquoise or deep blue glacial lakes, challenging nature hikes with out of the world scenery. Others choose the coastal part, with its diverse marine life, warm beaches and mouth watering seafood in every corner. Another unique eco systems can be found in the coastal desert of Ica. This dry arid region is most famous for its the Nasca lines hieroglyphics drawn on the dessert, but there is something even more amazing, the trench puquios, which are another great example of the resilience and ingenuity of former Peruvian civilizations. Finally and most importantly is the Peruvian Amazon Jungle. The Peruvian jungle covers over 60% of the land area in Peru. It is the most biodiverse place on planet earth and regulates the earths climate. Environmental protection in Peru is so important and it is each and every person´s responsibility to contribute to its preservation.

Orange Cares cares about our planet and we believe every small change, can have a positive impact.

  • Reforestation Projects: This project is very dear to our hearts. We venture into the Andean Mountains and plant a trees into the barren mountains sides. Our forests are being depleted for a number of reasons including lack of education on forest regeneration. Our plan is simple, plant one tree at a time.
  • Cleaning Campaigns: Tourism in Cusco has grown in leaps in bounds and there are thousands of trekkers who embark on alternative treks all leading to great Machu Picchu. We are fortunate to have all these travelers, as they generate a lot of income and help sustain jobs for the most vulnerable population. However, tourism does have a negative impact on the environment, whereby plastic and other not non-biodegradable waste is left on our treks. We organize plenty of cleaning campaigns to keep our trails pristine.
  • Environmental Education Workshop: All our cooperate partners believe in eco-tourism. In order to keep eco-tourism sustainable, it imperative that we educate our secluded communities on eco-friendly practices. The workshops are regular and are geared towards promoting sustainable tourism, whereby our treks and trail can be preserved for by future generations.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” – Native American proverb

Our Partnerships

We could not do any of this project, without the help from our partners! Be part of this great impact to change lives.