The Yachachiqs

Yachachiq is the person who know how to do something. Rural communities where the Yachachiqs system exists are small towns, with 10-15 families, and the average family farm size is around 0.1 hectar (100m2), some have local farm animals as llamas. In the traditional culture of the Andes there is not difference between arts and technics, a Yachachiq could be a master artisan or the local inventor. Yachachiq is not a name is a tittle, the community gives the title of Yachachiq to people from their community who has extraordinary habilities and leadership skills. It is similar to famous inventors or artist in the occidental culture, by example the american inventor Ray Kurzweil could be a Yachachiq.

They already have such incredible technical habilities and creativity. They can even decide whether some information, knowledge or tools would be useful if they could adapt it to serve their needs. When provided with that they can achieve wonders without any outside interference or advice. A Yachachiq could use modificated mechanical pieces from a motor to do pieces for agriculture or toys for their children, with the time and access to microfinances their could scale up and start their own factories and sell their services to near towns and cities.

New local initiatives emphasize participation of local people. In addition to appropriate technologies the new approach includes education on entrepreneurship. They are more applicable to Peru, due to understanding of budget, government, and cultural constraints. By Example, The Lemelson RAMP project in Peru, from 20 grassroot inventors, only 6 are based in urban zones, the other 14 are from rural zones of Cajamarca, Cusco and Puno.

Non-governmental organizations in Peru have many years of experience working successfully with the model of Yachachiqs. The public sector has started to establish a system of community promoters affiliated with the public sector (JUNTOS, CRECER, SIERRA PRODUCTIVA) who would have direct contact with local communities.

Rural development means developing the capacity of rural people. It means developing their skills so they become competent with the confidence to act on their choices. Importing technology from USA or China and sell these in Peru is not the right option. It creates disempowerment, leaving them dependent. But there is another way to empower the people. They must have access to information, knowledge, tools and the right to decide whether they want to do, independent of outsiders.

Technology is designed by engineers outside of the country and is in need of a redesign by Yachachiqs (local inventors). There is a need for developing appropriate technologies mainly irrigation technologies (drip and aspersion irrigation), food preservation, water and sanitation, soil regeration and others. It would allow rural farmers to generate additional income and should be designed so that they are affordable and available to rural farmers.

The purpose of our project is to review various technologies, configurations, identify locally available materials and components, perform usability tests, make recommendations for improvements and then create construction manuals for inexpensive DIY technologies to make components for agriculture, energy, health and environment preservation.

Yachachiq are DIY people, they dont buy things, they do their own things from available materials and they could learn about mechanics, electronics, software and manufacturing. We are not planing to use modern technology with Yachachiq, we are going to do a research about DIY projects and learn how to design an "appropriate technology" to be builded by Yachachiqs, they could make any changes and create their own machines and of course they will use their own ideas.

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