• To give back to the country of Peru for their gift of alpacas to the US and other countries in the world.
• To make a positive difference in the lives of herders and townspeople of Nunoa, Peru
• To address immediate needs through humanitarian aid and veterinary support for the animals in the region.
• To exchange information and preserve the rural traditions of herding for future generations in Nunoa.
• To establish self sustaining programs in the areas of: support for herding families and veterinary assistance for livestock in the Nunoa area.
Nunoa (pronounced Nunyoa) is about halfway between Cuzco and Lake Titicaca on the high slopes of the eastern Andes above 13,000 feet in elevation. The Nunoa River that flows through town comes, in part, from the Quilccaya Glacier, the largest in the tropics. The town has about 7000 residents who speak Quechua and Spanish, the district (comparable to a county) has a population of about 14,000. About a third of the households in the district are impoverished and hence have difficulties meeting their basic needs.
Grazing land in the Nunoa District is some of the best on the Altiplano and the alpaca density the highest. As such the town prides itself as the suri capital of the world. Most small herders have alpacas (yes, huacayas too), llamas, sheep, some cattle, and several horses. While principally herders, most households raise potatoes, other tubers, and Andean cereals (quinoa and canihua).
This is a community where I and others have carried out anthropological research for over 40 years. In the course of our work we have befriended many, become god-parents to quite a few, and have helped in a number of ways winning the trust of the community. The opportunity to further reciprocate for the cooperation and generosity shown over the years came several years ago when Dr Steve Purdy first arrived at UMass to set up the Camelid Studies Program. Being interested in understanding the background of the alpacas and how they were herded by Andean natives it was easy to convince him that Nunoa was the place he had to see.
On our first trip Steve brought several animal science students, an alpaca breeder, and a fellow alpaca veterinarian, Cheryl DeWitt. We stayed in a small orphanage that supported joyous and inquisitive children, and toured the countryside talking with herders and inspecting their alpacas. So impressed were we all with the need of small herders for veterinary service, and with the potential of linking this effort to the understaffed and underfunded orphanage, that we started planning how we might help fulfill a number of community needs. Thanks to Dr. Purdy’s enthusiasm and a sense of obligation to give back to Andean herders - whose ancestors gave us the alpacas and llamas - a number of friends and colleagues were contacted, and they have provided their time and talents in getting our organization going.
The Nunoa Project is a public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are fully tax deductible.
CONOPA - INSTITUTE OF CAMELID RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
CONOPA is a Peruvian non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research and extension in South American camelids.
Nunoa Project 2014 Programs & Proposed Budget Click here
Working in Peru as a Latin American Veterinarian by Gisela Marcoppido, DVM Click here
Nunoa Project Works Directly with Alpaca Farmers in Peru Click here
Steve Purdy, President of Nunoa Project and Director of the North American Camelid Studies Program, has just begun his tenure on the Theriogenology Foundation Board of Directors and Global Outreach Task Force Committee. Steve was recruited by the foundation as result of his past teaching and research work with alpacas and ongoing work with alpaca farmers in Peru. The Theriogenology Foundation is a global non-profit which believes that the preservation and reproduction of animals is essential to human welfare. By engaging specialists in animal reproductive health and productivity, the Theriogenology Foundation formulates and implements solutions to combat human and animal diseases which threaten food security and the social and economic health of the world's population. Steve also is the author of the Animal Health Initiatives section for alpacas and llamas on the website. He is looking forward to working with the Foundation on global improvements in animal production through improved reproduction management.
Mission statement: The Theriogenology Foundation secures and allocates resources dedicated to advancing the science and practice of animal reproductive medicine.
History of the Nunoa Project
by R. Brooke Thomas
Sign up to be on
our mailing list........