In the upper Amazon of Peru, the Pitsiquia community is adjacent to an Ashaninka Communal Reserve and the Otishi National Park. Holding titles to their land, they are responsible for maintaining the biodiversity of the cloud forest in a conscious effort to ensure that the Ene River Basin will keep supplying the tributaries with freshwater and life. The cloud forest is a natural habitat for thousands of butterflies and is especially propitious for the reproduction of those that community elders used to include in their diet.
Today, studies show that children in the community have poor cognitive development because their families are mostly relying on industrialized food provided by government programs. This project by Fundacion Ruth Zenaida Buendía Metsoquiari will enable the Pitsiquia community to practice food sovereignty by reproducing high nutritional value butterflies, of which half are to be released, and the other half are to be collected for traditional consumption. They will also be reforesting with Catahua and other species to enrich the butterflies’ habitat and maintain the biodiversity in the cloud forest.