ix World - Issue 45 - 3

Cuenca Expats Magazine, Issue 45

Photos: Courtesy of globalgiving.org

We want to invite the Cuenca expats to participate in the IX World Quinoa Congress in Cañar in March of 2025. This event will be a significant step forward for the Quinoa producers and marketers of southern Ecuador. Quinoa is truly an Andean food. The indigenous people of the Andes have been cultivating and consuming Quinoa for thousands of years. The Cañari people of southern Ecuador have depended on this food throughout history. They kept the secrets of its cultivation, preparation, and consumption alive during the centuries when colonial and national powers tried to discourage its use.

Now Cañar is the site of this next “Olympics of Quinoa.” The Cañari people have been consistently building toward this moment since liberating themselves from the haciendas of the area during the Agrarian Reform in the 1960s. In just a generation, they have gone from unpaid and abused hacienda workers to owners of their own small family farms, their own processing plant, and their own marketing system. Slowly and patiently, they achieved these goals through their determination, innovation, and relentless hard work. One of these innovations came in the form of an agricultural association, Mushuk Yuyay, to help farmers with seed and marketing.

The association has worked relentlessly to promote cultivation on local farms. They built a processing plant to prepare, package and market these crops under their brand name of Alli Mikuna or Good Food. Alli Mikuna is offered as healthy foods for the local population in stores across southern Ecuador. “Health is the best business,” is the Mushuk Yuyay motto.

ix World - Issue 45 - 3

While participating in the VIII World Quinoa Congress in Potosí, Bolivia, Mushuk Yuyay was chosen to host the next Congress on March of 2025. Mushuk Yuyay wants to share with the world their cultivation in various mountain communities, showcase their new products such as Quinoa pasta, Quinoa bread and other traditional foods, share results from variety trials developed in collaboration with Washington State University, and—not to be downplayed—artistic and cultural events. Scientists from around the world will present their findings and join in conversations. Producers, marketers, and consumers will also be there. This World Quinoa Congress will give Mushuk Yuyay a chance to increase their impact in Ecuador and in the world.

This is an opportunity to invest in the future by making a difference in the local economy, in supplies of healthy food products, in stemming immigration, in mitigating climate change, and in other related areas. Contributing to this endeavor is your way to the change the world.

IX World Quinoa Congress in Cañar

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