My name is Jared Brandell and I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer in the RPNYC. I’m fortunate not only to live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but also to live in a region that has a vibrant, living culture. When first getting to know the town of Tomas, Yauyos, which is one of the 9 districts within the RPNYC (Landscape Reserve Nor Yauyos Cochas), I was amazed at the sense of community.
Tomas, this special Andean community, still relies on community appointed committees and community volunteer workdays to run its dairy farm, and more importantly, its Alpaca farm. I was amazed when I found out that a community operated farm, with all profits benefiting the community members and the schools, was the leading producer of Alpacas in the entire region, in terms of both quantity and genetic quality. That is only possible because of the strong community. Being able to live and work in this unique area were community integrity is so important has been an incredible experience for me, and I would recommend to anyone looking to have a genuine cultural experience in the heights of the Andes to come and see for themselves.
Apart from the strong culture that lives within the RPNYC, the countryside and its wild inhabitants are well worth the effort it takes to get here. There are snow capped peaks, wild Vicuñas, vizcachas (a hare like rodent), puma, llamas, alpacas, deer, and more than 100 species of birds. Aside from that, the colorful lakes, occasional waterfalls, and the jagged peaks create an experience that is uniquely Andean and will leave a lasting impression on all it’s visitors.
If you have questions about the Reserva Paisiajística Nor Yauyos Cochas or my work here, please feel free to write to me.