Sacred Seeds leader Rafael Ocampo explains the motivations and methods...
Semillas Sagradas de Huamachuco
In the high Andes region surrounding Huamachuco, we are addressing the rapid disappearance of high altitude medicinal plants, crucial for the health of the local people. Here we have designed a multilevel complex of Sacred Seeds sanctuaries, taking advantage of their skills in innovative gardening. At the highest altitude, where the plants are most at risk, we are cultivating an area dense with rare medicinal plants. This will ease short and long term collection pressures by allowing the people to control a plant population and to sustainably source plants for personal use, experimentation, and botanical research.
The surrounding communities have cultivated Sacred Seed sanctuaries as public health centers, to grow critical medicinal plants, and to experiment with the cultivation of wild or rare plants. We have designed a system that continually incorporates communities into the program, and encourages inter-garden trade of plants with cultivation and preparation information. Sacred Seeds has fostered more communication and experimentation among the communities, ensuring that the local people and their descendants will have full access to the medicinal plant legacy of their ancestors.