Huachuma Collective is a Peru-based nonprofit association which cares for the bio-cultural sustainability of the San Pedro Cactus. Our leadership is an alliance of curanderos, curanderas, Indigenous leaders, and Andean community members. Together, we empower communities to protect, conserve, and plant Huachuma and explore sustainable practices for growing and working with traditional medicine in Peru. Our projects support and revitalize cultural traditions in Andean and Coastal Peruvian communities.
Our organization was founded in 2020 to unite and provide a platform for the voices of traditional curanderos and curanderas in North and Central Peru. The collective convened to address growing concerns with Huachuma's conservation status and the loss of traditional medicinal knowledge in North Peru. The knowledge and practices of San Pedro were declared Cultural Heritage of Peru in November 2022, an important step towards recognizing the unique cultural world of this medicine and the skill of practitioners. Huachuma Collective takes this a step further by working at the community level to ensure the survival of Huachuma and the healing arts of North Peru.
We are raising funds to build our wild seed bank, establish a nursery, and start 100,000 San Pedro seeds in Peru. Seed-starting is essential to protecting the genetic diversity of these plants. We will start seeds from many regions and raise them for three years before returning the seedlings to their Andean communities of origin.
Phase 1: Building a wild seed bank of 100,000+ Huachuma seeds from diverse populations, in collaboration with 40+ partner communities.
Cost: $5,000 USD
Completed May 31, 2023
Read more about the project and see photos from the field here.
Phase 2: Constructing a nursery space at Huachuma Collective headquarters to germinate and raise tens of thousands of Huachuma seedlings.
Cost: $20,000 USD
Progress: We have leased the space and demolished old, falling-down buildings. Our directors held a blessing ceremony and inaugural pago offering on October 30, 2023.
Next Steps: Pave the floor with natural earth, build a glass cold frame which will provide the seedlings with necessary humidity and heat during their first year, and construct adobe and stone beds for the older plants using traditional methods.
Learn more about Huachuma's conservation status and our project in this video: