The women foundation LA FLORCITA of Bayusihi de San Vicente (Calpi)
START PROJECT: June 2014
The community Bayushi de San Vicente, high in the Andean mountains and around 5 kilometres south of Riobamba, consist of 65 families. People grow corn, potatoes and quinoa and some have guinea pigs, a cow or a pig. The economic situation is rather bad and people are poor in the sense that their yearly income is far below the minimum. A lot of the women do not have a husband (he is gone or dead) and that makes them (alone) responsible for the income and their children. Some elder women receive help from their independent living (married) children. Other women work as a cleaning lady in families in Riobamba and earn about U$180,00 a month while the minimum income is U$366,00 a month. They do not dare to stand up for their rights afraid as they are losing their job. In that way, their employer can do what he/she wants. Their income is too much to die and too little to live on. If one of the animals is sick they cannot e.g. call a veterinarian. They are not in the health insurance fund and most of them have no education.
This foundation, called La Florcita (small flower) with 25 women-members, was created by the women in 2007 with the aim making and selling cookies and pasta made from Quinoa in order to increase their income. A foreign NGO donated a big metal table. Others, also the local municipality, donated 2 ovens and 2 machines to make pasta. They used to sell their small carton boxes with quinoa cookies on nearby markets, with a little bit of luck, they would sell 6 boxes in a whole (weekend-)day and maybe 200 boxes a year. The profit is minimal, maybe U$0,80 per box. The problem for them is that for the cookies-price of U$1,50 per box people can also get a simple 3-course lunch.
It seemed to us, a classical example of a project with typical errors or, still not finished. They have the instruments and they can make quinoa cookies and pasta but until now, nobody knew how to sell these cookies and how to find sales channels.
In relation with the lunch Inti Sisa serves for the Tren Crucero for Ferrocarriles Ecuador in the train station of Guamote, where the Inti Sisa Art Guesthouse is situated, the train company asked Inti Sisa for some women who can present their handicrafts made of llama wool. This way, Inti Sisa came in contact with the foundation La Florcita and these women.
Talking with the women, we came to know about the quinoa cookies and pasta. We visited the community and came with the idea to give every incoming CE Travels tourist a box of these cookies as a gift thus helping the foundation.Another idea was to present a box of cookies with every train lunch. The success was triumphant: in the year 2015 we took off in total some 3200 boxes.
It was the first year that the La Florcita could do a benefit to the women.
During Christmas 2015 we donated 80 bags of sweets and 80 Christmas presents for young schoolgirls and boys in Bayushi and surroundings.
In 2016 we continue with the help. In May 2016 we designed and produced our own Inti Sisa carton cookie box. La Florcita receives the same amount for their cookies while they do not have the costs of the boxes.
This very sympathetic project fits completely into the atmosphere of Inti Sisa Art Guesthouse/CE Travels´ mission: TOURISM IN FAVOR OF ALL OF US.
Quito, Ecuador, november 2016
With great thanks and deep respect for these strong and brave mamas from the Andes.
*Luz Tacuri; 45 years old; married and 2 kids at home (3 living independently). Family income U$110,00 per month.
*Maria Pagalo; 74 years old; widow; 5 kids living independently. Income U$40,00 per month.
*Delia Ochog; 62 years old; widow; 1 granddaughter at home (5 children living independently). Income U$30,00 per month.
*Paula Pagalo; 76 years old; widow; 4 kids living independently. Income U$0,00. She lives from what she grows.
*Yolanda Tacuri; 40 years old; married and 3 kids. Family income U$150,00 per month.
*Magdalena Tacuri; 49 years old; married and 6 kids. Family income U$110,00 per month.
*Maria Tayupanda; 50 years old; married and 4 kids. Family income U$110,00 per month.
*Ortencia Yerbabuena; 31 years old; married and 4 kids. Family income U$110,00 per month.
*Ana Tayupanda; 50 years old; married and 3 kids living independently. Family income U$110,00 per month.
*Alicia Agualsaca; single; 28 years old. Lives with her mother. Income U$120,00 per month.
*Flor Pagalo; 26 years olde; single mother and 2 kids. Income U$120,00 per month.
*Carmen Pagalo; 25 years old; married and 2 kids (8 and 10 years old…). Income U$110,00 per month.
*Rosa Eva; 47 years old; husband is gone. 2 kids; income U$100,00 per month.
*Delfina Pagalo; 74 years old; widow. 5 kids living independently. Income U$40,00 per month.
*Rosa Elena Pagalo; 61 years old; married. 5 kids living independently. Family income U$130,00 per month.
*Jacinta Yerbabuena; 66 years old; married. 5 kids living independently. Income U$70,00 per month.
*Maria Tacuri; 45 years old; single. Income unknown.
*Trinidad Tenezaca; 33 years old; single. Income unknown.
*Ana Quintanilla; 51 years old; married. 4 kids living independently. Income 150,00 per month.
*Jhaneth Pagalo; 34 years old; married. 3 kids at home. Family income U$140,00 per month.
*Rosario Tayupanda; 69 years old; married. 6 kids living independently. Income U$70,00 per month.
*Enriqueta Tayupanda; 68 years old; widow. 4 kids living independently. Income U$40,00 per month.
*Fany Pagalo; 36 years old; married. 4 kids. Family income U$135,00 per month.
*Fany Agualsaca; 36 years old; married. 4 kids. Family income U$120,00 per month.