Working the earth in the south of Cusco
The story is Cusco. Ours is a small but pleasing region. It has beautiful valleys, productive lands, amazing huacas (archeological sites and sacred places) as well as attractive temples. These include the Qoricancha which I could describe stone by stone. But here we are not speaking about the temples but about the agricultural fields that surround the city.
In the southern part of the city you will find humble people who had various hectares of land though the majority did not grow anything in them. Instead they fulfilled other trades; they were mason, plumbers, construction workers, as well as masters at other tasks that were not secure but of the moment. Sometimes they had work and other times they did not. When there was no work they went through bad times. Everyone in the house suffered hunger and they would sit by the side of their windows to look at the city wondering if the next day some kind of work would appear for them.
People had grown accustomed to this kind of life. They would eat when they had money and when they didn’t they would not.
This was until on one unlikely day some agronomists from the San Antonio Abad University climbed up this place. It was a Wednesday at 10 in the morning. The sun was radiant and was when some well-dressed people began to knock the doors of the humble people’s homes.
When they opened the doors they were surprised to see young people who were not from their neighborhood. One of them had a black beard and it seemed was the oldest of the group. With an academic voice he said:
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen, we are students from the University San Antonio Abad of Cusco and my companions and I who are here are about to finish our studies and graduate. We came here with one purpose, to teach you to grow your own food on the great extensions of land that you have.”
The people from the area were filed with emotion on receiving this great news and everyone asked the agronomy students to come and help with their lands.
On seeing the great extensions of land they were impacted from just seeing the grass on all the ground. They immediately pulled out their tools and began to work the earth without any problem. The neighbors of the area were amazed at seeing this group of youths work their land with so much passion.
The agronomists put on various workshops to teach the people about sowing food. They told them they should take maximum advantage of their land in order to never again experience hunger. They also showed them how to create phyto tents, greenhouses, so that when there were no rains their crops would still have water.
They made small buildings from green reeds, covered it all with thick plastic, and within it sowed food crops such as carrots, tree tomatoes, and onions. People asked how would they grow without water. It seemed quite strange. In that instance the agronomists explained that with the help of the sun, these small houses built from green cane and plastic would provide humidity for their crops.
The people of the zone were very thankful to the young agronomists who spent seven months with them, training them and teaching them new things so they could grow their own food. Every since then, the southern zone of Cusco no longer suffers hunger and has changed its way of life.