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The women's project Mujeres de Tierras Chimu in Peru


The neighborhood on the hill “Cerrito de la Virgen”

The women in our project live on the “Cerrito de la Virgen” (Hill of the Virgin) on the edge of Huanchaco on the coast in northern Peru.

Huanchaco, an original fishing village, is very popular with tourists and is particularly well known for its famous surf waves and ancient Chan Chan archaeological site. Above the fishing village, not visible from below, lies the slum “Cerrito de la Virgen”.

The hill was once a desert-like place with lots of sand and no plants. At the end of the 1990s, destitute families gradually immigrated illegally in order to build a home for themselves on the empty land. Many of them came from the mountains in the hope of a better life, some had to give up their old homes in the village after their houses were flooded by “El Niño” floods.

The women of the Mujeres de Tierras Chimu project 

The women and their families live in a precarious situation. Their houses are very simple and there is no public infrastructure, i.e. no paved roads, no water/sewage supply and there is sand everywhere. This also affects the hygiene and health situation of the families. There are many street dogs that can also be very dangerous. The water comes by truck and is stored in rain barrels. This contributes to the rapid spread of  diseases such as dengue fever.

Around 50 women have come together here on the hill and founded a self-help group.

Through the Chasqui e.V. association, we support women in developing self-help measures so that their living situation can improve in the long term. No running water, unstable employment, inadequate pay, no support from the government and little hope of improving the situation - these are just some of the challenges the community faces on a daily basis. We would like to make an active contribution to giving these people hope again. Hope for stable and satisfactory living conditions for themselves and their descendants.

For every completed order we donate €2.00 to the women's project (at least €1000 per month).

Would you also like to make a direct contribution? Then you can support the women's project with a direct donation. 

Our project goals

  • Improving the living conditions of women

  • Vocational advancement of local women residents
  • Development of civic participation
  • Strengthening neighborhood organization
  • Conflict resolution
  • Strengthening women's gender equality

Our focal points of development work

What is needed is a shelter where the women can cook together, exchange ideas and do handicrafts. At the moment, they meet in a shelter made of earth, which is in danger of collapsing and is not burglar-proof. The planned building will include a large kitchen, a common room, sanitary facilities, a shower and a laundry.


So far, handicraft work is still carried out completely without machine support. In order to work more efficiently in terms of time, sewing machines are needed. Also needed are fabrics such as (tree) wool, yarn and coffee bags, as well as materials such as knitting & crochet needles. The materials are used to make bags for electronic devices and personal use, for example.


An important goal of the association is to provide a space where women and children feel safe to talk about domestic problems. In addition to two permanently employed psychologists, volunteers who complete their internship semester on site as part of their psychology studies offer their support to the people through personal conversation.

We make it possible to maintain this important offer by covering the monthly travel costs for the volunteers.

In the future, we also plan to offer specific courses over a period of five months, each of which will cost €450. The focus here is on supporting the women in developing more self-confidence, as well as preventing and counteracting domestic violence against women and their children. Furthermore, individual counseling and support is to be offered to the women.


Specific educational measures are in place to increase literacy rates and improve education levels overall. For example, during the school closure due to the pandemic, about 60 children were supported through tutoring and the provision of materials. In addition, courses in learning to knit & crochet have already begun, and local education efforts have begun to advance women's emancipation.

The project envisions that the educational activities already started will remain and be expanded. Since domestic violence is unfortunately not uncommon among families and this is partly reflected in the behavior of the children, there should be more offers on topics such as 'What is violence' & 'Nonviolent communication' (for further measures see psychosocial support). In order to increase the acceptance of the association and the commitment of Chasqui e.V. on the part of the male population, the education and the exchange with the men of the families will also be increasingly pursued.

In the future, the educational program is to be expanded to include an environmental focus.


As soon as the local water supply is secured, the long-term goal is to grow fruit and vegetables for our own consumption in a community garden.

In order to build up a personal relationship with the local people, to get a better overview of the local circumstances and other possible support possibilities, as well as to participate practically in the development measures, we would like to visit the people on site ourselves in the near future.

Of course, we will keep you up to date on our various communication channels.

For us Suyana means lived hope

Hope as a trust in life itself, in "Aquí y Ahora".
Making the so-called artesanías

Help for self-help

Despite the precarious situation, the women are full of hope. They show strength, willpower to change things, and they have their own ideas on how to improve their situation, their lives and those of their families. The women from Cerrito de la Virgen are not looking for handouts, they long for concrete help to help themselves. They would like to learn to read & write and participate in courses on communication & education. In addition, they would like to have building material to build the planned Ollas Comunes.

Las Mujeres de Tierras Chimu are highly motivated and want to take their lives and those of their descendants into their own hands. Participation in educational activities allows them to be actively involved in the continuation of their community in Peruvian society (& their local community). The handicraft workshops not only create jobs for the women, but at the same time improve the educational opportunities for their children. In addition, they would like to plant an organic fruit & vegetable garden in the future, so that they can grow healthy ingredients for their meals themselves.

The association Chasqui e.V. supports the projects of the women on site and ensures the concrete implementation of necessary development measures. In addition to the construction of the building for the women, the current focus is on teaching the women to sew and to procure the necessary equipment and accessories so that they can pursue their artistic skills by making so-called artesanías (handicrafts). The local demand for such hand-sewn products is high, which offers the prospect of financial independence for the women.

Through concrete measures like these, lived hope does not remain mere wishful thinking with bold promises. Hope becomes a changing and shaping force for a better life.


Confidence in the certainty that we can shape the future and improve the lives of many people.

That's why we want to use part of our profits to give back hope and provide people with the resources to lead their lives with dignity and self-responsibility. The project "Mujeres de Tierras Chimu" in Huanchaco/Trujillo in northern Peru is an initiative that reflects our corporate values and where hope is lived. Suyana supports this project wholeheartedly and with funds that flow directly to 100% to the women and are used concretely for the implementation of the named goals. The German-Peruvian cultural association Chasqui e.V. acts as a mediating authority and supports the project on site.


About 50 women in the precarious "Cerrito de la Virgen" neighborhood have formed a neighborhood self-help group to better provide for their families. There is no functioning infrastructure in the neighborhood and the residents, most of whom moved to Huanchaco from the countryside, receive no support from the local authorities. So what else could they do but become active themselves? First, the women founded an "Olla Comun," a very simple communal kitchen, usually consisting of only one cooking area, to cook food together for their families on weekdays. On Sundays, they prepare food for sale, using the proceeds to buy new food. If the women have any paid work at all, it is usually in the informal sector with low earnings and high volatility. Because the women had limited access to education, which was then usually of a low standard, many of them have not learned to read, write, or do math. Thus, they are unable to complete important official formalities and claim their rights. For the children, the situation is also very challenging and hopeless, as school conditions are poor, the prospect of vocational training is slim, and there are no meaningful employment opportunities in the region. Violence in the families, unwanted pregnancies and psychological problems due to the overall living situation aggravate the situation of the residents.
Violence in the families, unwanted pregnancies and psychological problems due to the overall life situation aggravate the situation of the residents.
Handicraft workshops to improve the educational opportunities of their children

Our sustainability-promise

We want to be sure that our values are reflected in all of our corporateactivities
Eva & Elias
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