The Indigenous people of the Arrayanes and Piñan communities of Cotacachi, Ecuador have long suffered conditions of extreme poverty and malnutrition. But today, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified these hardships even further by stripping these Andean people of the few income-earning opportunities they once had.

K’allam’p is providing solutions.

Led by the Indigenous women in partnership with K’allam’p, this program does far more than provide temporary food aid. Together, we will strengthen food sovereignty and community resilience through the creation of communal farms that utilize educational initiatives to provide the people with improved nutrition, health, and food security during the pandemic and beyond.

Help K’allam’p and the Wichana Foundation provide the women leaders of Arrayanes and Piñan with the purchase of essential farming equipment, educational materials, and stipends for local trainers and volunteers.


The Challenges:

  1. Chronic government neglect of health and nutritional needs, educational services and agricultural support for indigenous communities.

  2. Low literacy rates in most communities that reduce opportunities for entrepreneurship and limit access to modern scientific agricultural knowledge.

  3. Ongoing devaluation of small farmers and their work along with limited access to fertile land.

  4. Limited economic resources due to devastating loss of income-earning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Solution:

  1. We will empower women and children through food sovereignty and self-reliance.

  2. We will create more farms managed by communities and volunteers to provide food for all in need, beginning with Arrayanes as our first model community farm and continuing with the community of Piñan.

  3. We will train and educate multiple generations inside communities about regenerative sustainable agriculture practices.

  4. We will identify local experts to provide culturally competent health and nutrition education.

  5. We will facilitate community resilience

Go Fund Me Campaign: Empowering women leaders in food sovereignty, education, and health beyond the Covid-19 pandemic


Wichana Foundation was started in the fall of 2019 by Peter Bernstein, Sarah Cox and Urku Deborah May to support community-based programs in Ecuador that benefit the health, education and culture of community members. We raise funds through individual donations, grants and by selling artisanal crafts. 


Mojandita Curubi Centro de Salud, a rural health clinic just outside of Otavalo  

Muyumi Kanki Kichwa Cultural Center, an indigenous-led organization in Cotacachi focusing on the revitalization of  Kichwa culture and language

K'allam'p, an indigenous-led project working to educate rural indigenous communities on sustainable farming techniques, nutrition and other public health issues. 

Place of Hope, a volunteer organization providing breakfast and food delivery to hundreds of the poorest elders of Cotacachi and the surrounding communities.

Siona Community of Cuyabeno fundraiser for emergency food and medicine for indigenous people in the Amazon region of Ecuador 

Our Women's Advisory Committee provides us with 

guidance from the outstanding women leaders of our partner projects. The members  provide one another with mutual support, thoughtful project analysis, organizational tools, shared dreams and sisterly encouragement.

Their guidance for the foundation's direction is vital to our success. It is rooted in their deep understanding of the needs of the families and communities they serve through their service organizations in Cotacachi and Otavalo.

Martha Chavez of Mojanidta Curubi Health Center

Koya Valencia of Muyumi Kanki Kichwa Cultural Center

Dra. Kaya Alta of K'allam'p

Urku Deborah May of Wichana Foundation

Salome Alvear of Place of Hope Lugar de Esperanza

Aidayadira Saavedraoyagata of K'allam'p

Alli Tolbert, Facilitator, Wichana Foundation

Rosita Cabezas of Mojandita Curubi Health Center

The Wichana Foundation is a US tax-exempt organization (501(c)(3)) so contributions are tax deductible as permitted by applicable law.


T: 917-273-0360 

E: info@wichana.org

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