The project will benefit the Chillca community in the sector of Uyuni in Cusco where 40% of the population is categorized as extremely poor. The area is located in between 4,250 and 4,950 meters above sea level, which makes it ideal for breeding alpacas, to which all the families in the community are dedicated. However, due to the isolated location and dispersed population, this community has had no access to grid electricity and is currently not included in any future electrification plans by the State.
The lack of access to energy not only affects the comfort and quality of life of the families, but also contributes to the low levels of family income, because the families cannot transform the “raw” alpaca wool that they produce and are obliged to sell it to intermediaries. If there is an opportunity for transforming the wool, this could improve their income prospects. In this respect Practical Action has recently implemented a project using solar systems, in which not only illumination is provided, but also electricity to power some small spinning machines with which artisanal yarn (form alpaca wool) can be produced. This project will serve as a pilot in the region of Cusco, so that is can be replicated by other communities nearby.