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The Q'ero and Mollamarka Indians
of Peru

Don Américo Yábar and the Q'ero Making Despachos
Photo by Jo Elliott

The Q'ero Indians live in isolation at 17,000 ft on Q'ero mountain in the Cusco region of the Andes as they have for the hundreds of years since fleeing when the conquistadors invaded. This group is widely known in Peru as the descendants of the Inca priest class and the present-day keepers of that ancient knowledge. They live in stone huts in cold, desolate conditions.

The Mollamarka Indians also live in relative isolation about 5 hours outside the city of Cusco. They live in mud huts with no running water. Electricity has come to this small village, but only the medical outpost can afford its use. The clinic is run by the Peruvian government and provides 3 nurses to care for the entire region numbering around 2000 people, but no doctors and few medications or basic supplies. There is an organization in the village called the Club of Mothers, to which many of the women belong, whose sole purpose is supporting the welfare of the children. The men are organized in a community group to act as a whole for the benefit of the village.

Mollamarka Club of Mothers
Photo by Carla Woody

We engage with the Q'ero and Mollamarka Indians through their spiritual ceremonies and in festivities that include traditional dancing and singing. Kenosis Spirit Keepers will continue a tradition of ayni, a Quechua word for reciprocity, begun by Kenosis LLC and donate a sum directly to the Q'ero participants who travel from their home to be with us during these gatherings.

We will also donate an additional amount to be divided between the Mollamarka Club of Mothers and the Mollamarka Community organization. Some funds are given directly to the dancers, singers and musicians for their part.

Past Kenosis groups brought small toys for the children and supplies such as books, notebooks and pens for the Mollamarka village school. In one of the 2006 groups, the participants bought a bicycle for the clinic nurses so they could ride to their duties rather than walk to remote villages.

In the 2007 group that involved the pilot program with our two Hopi friends, several medical people were also part of the group. They brought some medical equipment and basic supplies for the clinic. After discovering that the only warmth the nurses could provide for newborns was a light bulb over a makeshift examining table, and no heat for new mothers or others who were ill, the group bought 4 space heaters and gave them as a donation.

Each year Kenosis Spirit Keepers will continue to look for ways to ease, in some way, the stark living conditions these people have.

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Last updated 6 April 2008   |  2008 Kenosis Spirit Keepers