Peru: 2,500 families in the High Andes make tradition a way of life

women making bottled beverage
Women in the programme make chicha de jora, a traditional Peruvian beverage, to sell. Photo: UNDP Peru

“My grandma prepared her chicha. She bottled it and sold it,” María Farroñan says, remembering how she learned to make chicha de jora, a traditional beverage in many towns in Peru. She was born in Mórrope, a district in the coastal region of Lambayeque that keeps up the old artisanal traditions.

With a big wooden spoon, she stirs the chicha in an earthenware pot.


  • The programme worked directly on 55 micro-entrepreneurial projects for the development of production and business training in Ayacucho, Cusco, Lambayeque and Puno.
  • 126 artisans, 26 community rural tourism entrepreneurs and 49 regional cooks obtained official certificates.
  • 2,500 families in different regions of Peru moved ahead while conserving their traditions and, at the same time, caring for the environment.
  • The government supported the program by enacting 3 Regional Ordinances and 12 Municipal Ordinances for the promotion of creative industries.

“With wood, it used to take us much longer, almost eight hours. But now with gas, we only need four,” she says, referring to one of the changes promoted by a UNDP-supported joint development project: cooking with gas stoves instead of wood. This simplifies women’s work ands simultaneously helps to preserve the forests.

“Everything was different before. We used to prepare our chicha, but we didn’t make any profit,” comments María.

María’s family is one of 2,500 that make up the production associations of the 55 micro-enterprise projects that the programme works with in Ayacucho, Cusco, Lambayeque and Puno. The programme helped to introduce the businesses to the market, creating three consortiums of artisans.

The programme developed training in inclusive creative industries and businesses in Lambayeque and Cusco, from which 60 professionals graduated. It also established a training programme in Management and Development of Inclusive Creative Industries, which has 98 instructors. In addition, it certified 126 artisans, 26 community rural tourism entrepreneurs and 49 regional cooks in Information and Communication Technology. Moreover, it played an important role in helping to formulate and implement public policies favorable to inclusive creative industries as a means of reducing poverty at the national, regional and local levels.

Through the programme, María’s production association improved the facilities and equipment for preparing and bottling chicha. The development of training for the organic management of their fields of corn, food handling and waste management allowed this group of women to efficiently use their resources and increasing their profit, contributing to their empowerment and autonomy in all dimensions of their lives.

“We, too, are beginning to value our work; we feel very proud,” María pointed out with a smile.

The programme, financed by the Government of Spain through the MDG Achievement Fund, was carried out by various governmental partners at the national, regional and local levels, led by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru and had the cooperation of 6 organs of the United Nations System – FAO, ILO, OMT, UNIDO, UNDP, and UNESCO – led by the UNDP.

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