In 2010, The Denan Project extended its medical humanitarian efforts to Peru with the opening of a new Health Center at 13,400 feet in the remote, high Andean village of Uratari, which is almost two hours by car from the nearest major city/hospital. It was the first time that free, quality medical care was provided to the impoverished indigenous communities of the area. Today, the efforts of The Denan Project have expanded to include a regularly scheduled medical outreach program to distant villages, including the high Andean communities of Pampahuylla, Pivil, Chonta, Churo and Choquemarca. In addition to health care, we focus on education and economic sustainability through micro-loan programs to women’s groups and an incentive program for high school students.
Medical Projects in Uratari
In order to serve the area’s great medical needs as quickly as possible, The Denan Project’s Health Center in Uratari first opened the doors to a makeshift facility on August 20th, 2010. Then, thanks to extraordinary determination and all-volunteer construction labor from the residents of Uratari and surrounding villages, the completed buildings were officially unveiled on May 16, 2011. Today, the Health Center consists of examination and treatment rooms, ultrasound equipment, a maternity ward, a doctor’s office, a fully equipped dental facility, a laboratory, a pharmacy, an inpatient facility, a kitchen, bathrooms, a medicinal garden, and housing for key personnel. The Center is staffed by a doctor, a dentist, a nurse-midwife, a nurse who doubles as a pharmacist, and a cleaner. Security is provided by the villagers. Our ambulance is used for emergencies and for a medical outreach program to distant villages. The staff is fluent in Quechua, the local language spoken by the descendants of the ancient Incans. In fact, our Health Center is the only medical facility in Peru where the entire staff speaks Quechua. It is also the only medical center in the area that provides free dental care services in addition to other health services. For many people, our Health Center provided people’s first ever access to dental health services.
From 2012-2018 we expanded our medical outreach program to include the high Andean communities of Pampahuylla, Pivil, Chonta, and Choquemarca.
Education Projects in Uratari
In April 2013, we awarded two all-expense-paid scholarships to top graduates of the new high school in Uratari. This was the first time that students from this area of the High Andes were given the opportunity to receive a higher education at no expense to themselves or their families.
In 2015 we instituted “Golden Condor Scholar Awards” as a way of giving an incentive for high academic performance to children and their families. The awards, which we present at the end of each semester to the three top students in each of the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades of the local high school, consist of a certificate and $50, a large sum in this impoverished area.
Two beautiful new kusiwawas (pre-schools) in the villages of Uratari and Choquemarca for children age 6 months to 5 years were completed by the Municipality of Limatambo District in 2014. The Denan Project helped to furnish the schools and equipped the buildings with a kitchen, a playroom, tables, chairs, electricity and running water.
Economic Development in Uratari
We currently provide funding for seven micro-loan projects; two in Uratari and Churo, one in Pampahuaylla, and one in Choquematca, the poorest village in the Limatambo District. One of these loans funds a beekeeping group, while the other six support the raising of cuyes (guinea pigs), which have long been an important part of the diet of the residents of the High Andes, dating back to the time of their ancient ancestors the Incans. The animals are a treasured source of protein, which is rare in the diet of people living in these mountain communities. As a result of this program, the health of the people, particularly the children, has improved and money has come unto the community from the sale of the cuyes in the marketplaces. Cuyes can even be found on the menus of the finest restaurants throughout Peru. To date, all cuy micro-loan projects have been repaid in full – some of them even before the loans were due!
Our Partners in Uratari
The Community of Uratari and Surrounding Villages
In keeping with their collective, collaborative ways of living, the community of Uratari and surrounding villages provided all the volunteer labor for construction of the beautiful Health Center, as well as the land and existing buildings for the Center’s use.
The Municipality of Limatambo
The Municipality of Limatambo District provided the architectural renderings for the Center and all the skilled labor for the installation of electricity and plumbing. In addition, the Municipality provided beds, chairs, and tables for patient use, as well as the cement for construction. One staff nurse and some medicines and laboratory equipment were provided to the Center by Red Norte (the equivalent of The Ministry of Health of Cusco State). The Denan Project and the Municipality of Limatambo District shared in the cost of providing a new ambulance to the community.
The Municipality of Anta Province
The Municipality of Anta Province and Red Norte are our current partners and provide management of the project.
Facts & Figures
72,000 patients treated through June 2022
There have been zero deaths in childbirth since our involvement, down from 1 in 7 before we arrived
Ours is the only health center in Peru where all staff speak Quechua, the indigenous language of the region
Our health center named the Outstanding Medical Facility in the Peruvian state of Cusco by the state’s Ministry of Health in 2012
32 Micro-loans have been distributed in 4 remote villages
2 new pre-schools furnished with chairs, tables and complete kitchens, running water and electricity
High school honors program initiated in 2015
First college scholarship student graduated in June 2017