¿Por qué caminamos desde Cuncani hasta Urubamba?

Visitar y caminar desde Cuncani nos brindará un mejor conocimiento sobre nuestro Perú, nuestro país de residencia. 

No solo su diversidad natural, sino también su gente, sus tradiciones y costumbres. Además de ser una experiencia personal, ayudaría a poner en el map global una comunidad pequeña y podría construir puentes entre diversas culturas y personas, con el fin de tener un mundo que se preocupe más, que se conozca más y que sea más respetuoso hacia los demás.

Wendy and Dave Holmes (amig@s de NC)

Este setiember caminaremos 15 km desde la comunidad de Cuncani hasta nuestro hogar en Urubamba. Realizamos esta actividad por dos razones:

  • Para generar mayor conciencia del impacto del aislamiento de comunidades como Cuncani en sus procesos de desarrollo;
  • Para recaudar los fondos necesarios que nos permitan alcanzar nuestra meta de este año para nuestro proyecto de Hogares Sostenibles.

Si quieres hacer una donación, visita este link.

Why hike From Cuncani to Urubamba?

Visiting and walking to Cuncani will give us a greater understanding about the country Peru which we call home.

This will be not only in its natural diversity but also in its people with their varied traditions and lifestyles. Besides this personal experience, it will help to put a small community on the global map and could lead to building bridges between diverse cultures and people, ultimately with the goal of having a more caring, knowledgeable and respectful world. 

Wendy and Dave Holmes (NC friends)


This September we will be walking 15 km from the community of Cuncani to our home in Urubamba. We are doing this activity for two reasons:

  • To raise awareness about the fact that isolation has an impact on the development of communities like Cuncani;
  • To raise money that can allow us to accomplish the goal of this year for our Sustainable Homes Project

If you would like to make a donation, please visit this link.




The Landscape of Global Nutrition Governance 

Carly Hayes, University of Waterloo (Nexos Comunitarios intern)

Global governance is a term that is not well-defined by academics or practitioners – is there any way that we can really govern a world that consists of a vast multitude of different contexts and histories, especially in something as personal and cultural as the foods we eat? However, the idea that global governance only exists at the level of countries negotiating with each other at forums such as the United Nations does not capture the fluid and multi-directional nature of global governance. In the world of nutrition, the governance landscape is immense and has a long history, and it is important to understand how what happens at the global level of decision-making in efforts against malnutrition influences actions taken at the local level, where it can have its greatest impact. It would be impossible to cover all of the landmark moments in nutrition governance in a single blog post, but we can examine trends in the governance of nutrition, and how they aligns with the efforts taken in Peru.

Modern global food and nutrition governance began in 1944 with the establishment of the FAO, as a response to inequalities in the global food regime and the oversupply of food in parts of the world, compared to famines and malnourishment running rampant in others (McKeon, 2015). This watershed moment set the stage for the neoliberal, technology, and supply-side interventions that would characterize food governance for the next 60 years. However, it has been acknowledged now by governments that simply increasing the amount of food we produce will not solve problems of malnutrition, as we already produce more than enough food to provide every person on earth with 2800 calories per day (Food Tank, 2014).  Barriers to accessing food, such as isolation, inequality, varying climates, and poverty, need to be addressed as well in order to make any meaningful impact. Peru’s governance of malnutrition has mirrored these fluctuations in the paradigm of global governance, with efforts in the early 1970s being concentrated on the inflow and management of official development assistance coming from Western countries through the National Nutritional Support Office.

In recent years, however, particularly in light of the global food price crisis in 2007-2008, nutrition governance has shifted. This is reflected in the sustainable development goals, discussed in a previous blog post, which take a more “food systems” approach, rather than a “food aid” approach, including targets such as “ensuring sustainable food production,” “maintaining biodiversity,” and “increasing investments in rural infrastructure”(Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, 2015). One of the most widely recognized mechanisms in the global governance of nutrition presently is the World Health Assembly’s 2025 Global Targets for Maternal, Infant, and Child Nutrition, which has set inclusive targets and indicators that have been widely endorsed and have laid the foundation for the development of other multilateral nutrition agreements (World Health Assembly, 2015). The aim was to support the creation of an enabling environment for comprehensive food and nutrition policies that engage policymakers at the national level across sectors to recognize the multi-causality of malnutrition. This has shown a dramatic shift from historic government programming that focused on the simplistic need for more food.


Forty years from the establishment of the National Nutritional Support Office, Peru has participated in consultations about the Sustainable Development Goals and has designed decentralized programming that at least seeks to target the most vulnerable populations to overcome nutrition barriers related to equity (Benavides et al., 2016). It is yet to be seen whether Peru will shift their current “food aid” programming to align more closely with values of sustainability in terms of community empowerment and environmental protection in production under the new government. However, with shifts in governance changing towards global trends in non-communicable diseases and improving commodity markets, Peru must resist the urge to follow governance trends entirely and continue to “leave behind” the vulnerable populations that have not yet been beneficiaries of the country’s fast-paced economic and social development. While participation in agenda-setting at the global level is important, Peru must focus on translating the values and ambition of global targets to eradicate malnutrition into tangible actions to address the contextual needs of local communities in achieving sustainable food security.

Acosta, Andres Mejia (2011). “Analyzing Success in the Fight against Malnutrition in Peru.” IDS Working Papers. Volume 2011 , Number 367. Accessed Online: http://www.ids.ac.uk/files/dmfile/Wp367.pdf
Benavides, Martin et al. (2016). “Measuring the Sustainable Development Agenda in Peru.” Post-2015  Data Test: Country Level Experiences. Lima: GRADE. Accessed Online:  http://www.post2015datatest.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Final-Peru-Data-Test_April.pdf
Food Tank (2014). “What We Need to Know About Hunger.” Food Tank. Accessed Online:  http://foodtank.com/news/2014/07/what-we-need-to-know-about-hunge
International Food Policy Research Institute (2016). From Promise to Impact: Ending Malnutrition by 2030. Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute.
McKeon, Nora (2015). Food Security Governance: Empowering communities, regulating corporations. New York: Routledge.
Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (2015). “Sustainable Development Goal 2: End Hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.” United Nation Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Accessed Online: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg2
World Health Organization (2014). “Indicators for the Global Monitoring Framework on Maternal, Infant    and Young Child Nutrition.” Geneva: World Health Organization. Accessed Online:     http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/indicators_monitoringframework_miycn_background.pdf


+3.5 m….2017


El pase de diapositivas requiere JavaScript.

[Versión en Español / English Version]

¡Sólo tenemos 3.5 meses más, antes de empezar el 2017! Como es usual, aún tenemos pendientes varias metas que queremos cumplir, actividades que realizar y MUCHO, MUCHO por aprender. Como les hemos contado antes, hemos dedicado el 2016 a aprender sobre desnutrición en los Andes, específicamente en Cuncani. 

Nos encontramos en la última etapa de nuestra investigación y antes que la terminemos, estaremos publicando artículos sobre  lo que estamos aprendiendo, los retos que encontramos y todo lo que estamos planeando para los siguientes años.

Esperamos que puedan disfrutar de nuestras publicaciones y acompañarnos en este proceso. Nos ENCANTA seguir aprendiendo para así, realizar un mejor trabajo y hacerlo de una manera más eficiente con nuestros socios en la comunidad.


We just have 3.5 more months before we start 2017! As usual, there are still so many goals to accomplish, activities to do and LOTS AND LOTS of things to learn! As we have told you before, we have dedicated 2016 to learn about malnutrition in the Andes, specifically in Cuncani.

We are in the last phase of our research and before we finish it, we will be posting different articles about all we are learning, the challenges we encounter and all we are planning for the future.

We hope you enjoy our posts and join us in this process! We LOVE to keep learning in order for us to do better work and work with our community partners in a more efficient way.


Malnutrition Facts

Kennedy Clark, Purdue University

(NC Intern)

To many people, malnutrition presents itself as an image of emaciated children with protruding bellies. However, malnutrition has many realities besides this one. It also includes the growing population of children suffering from obesity in western regions, and children in the Andes, who seem otherwise healthy, but are a bit short in nature. Malnutrition, to put it simply, is a deficiency of nutrients. This can be a deficiency of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, or fats; or a deficiency of micronutrients which are vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, iron, zinc, and iodine. In either situation, this deficiency can have devastating and sometimes lasting consequences for those affected.

Malnutrition mainly stems from issues falling under one of the two categories or primary and secondary malnutrition. Insufficient intake, for example, is considered primary malnutrition, in which adequate nutrients are not actually provided in the diet. On the other hand, diseases, such as diarrheal conditions, are an example of secondary malnutrition in which, though adequate nutrients may be provided in the diet, the body cannot correctly absorb them.

Malnutrition is extremely threatening to the body’s ability to maintain life. This is because nutrients provide the necessary fuel to drive metabolism, the collection of processes that keep us alive. Metabolism is divided in to two types of processes: catabolism and anabolism. In catabolism, the body breaks down matter in order to obtain energy. In anabolism, energy is consumed in order to synthesize material needed by the cells such as proteins and nucleic acids. Both of these aspects of metabolism involve complex systems of interaction between proteins already present in the body, and external nutrients introduced into the body through the diet. Thus, without adequate nutrients, the body cannot carry out these necessary processes.

Upon consumption, macronutrients are broken down from their more complex states of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, to create the small molecules of simple sugar, fatty acids, and amino acids, which serve as fuel or building blocks for various structures in the body. For example, the simple sugar, glucose is the brains sole source of energy. The phospholipid formed from fatty acids, makes up the outermost layer of most human cells, protecting it from being too permeable to outside pathogens. Furthermore, the amino acids come together to make proteins such as cortisol receptors that allow our bodies to react when faced with danger.

Micronutrients play a different, yet equally vital role in the process. They are often key players necessary for carrying out cellular processes. For example, iron serves as an important component in maintaining the structure of heme groups which are part of proteins found in the red blood cells that help with oxygen transport throughout the body. Iodine, another micronutrient, is similarly important in metabolic processes. It plays a role in the processes in the thyroid. Without the presence of iodine, the thyroid cannot produce its hormones, a number of which are responsible for growth and development throughout the body.

Be it insufficient intake of macronutrients, or of micronutrients, malnutrition can prove to be incredibly, and sometimes irreversibly harmful for those suffering from it. Adequate nutrition is essential for our existence, as without it, we do not have the ability to carry out the number of metabolic processes that take place in our bodies as efficiently as possible; and therefore, cannot function to our fullest potential. This is especially important when it comes to discussing developing regions, such as Andean communities like Cuncani. For them, the gravity of the effects of malnutrition is more complicated than it seems. With poor health outcomes in physical and mental development, the community can be set back in their ability to sustain themselves in their development process.


Getting professional and personal growth

By Alice Ebeyer (NC Intern 2016 – McGill University)


“Spending two months in Peru with Nexos Comunitarios has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Being immersed in a different culture and being able to witness particular traditions and customs was stirring. The organization offers an amazing context to achieve efficient work, but also personal growth. The job itself allows us to further open our minds by seeing, discovering, learning so many new things. Peru is a unique place and working with local people is the best way to experience the country. This internship was the occasion to learn more about primary research and more particularly Participatory Action Research methods. Thus, it has been enriching on a personal and professional level but also on an academic perspective.

International development and development in general is a long and complex process; it needs patience and persistence and this is what I learned at NC by trying to help and making a social impact.

What this internship also taught me is to never give up, because only small groups of people who attempted to change the world actually reached their goals.”

Expanding Knowledge and Making Societal Impact with Nexos Comunitarios

By Mackenzie Vozza , Western University – Alternative Spring Break 2016

#BeTheChange – NC Learning Program

Mackenzie Vozza.jpg

“If I could recommend anything to a university student looking to expand their cultural knowledge and make a significant societal impact, it would be working with Nexos Communitarios. The Nexos staffs not only ensured we had everything we needed pre-departure, but were also constantly in contact with us during our trip to ensure a flawless execution and unforgettable experience.

The project I had the privilege of working on, PhotoVoice, was an amazing initiative designed to change the mindset of children in impoverished areas in order to help them believe they can do anything they set their mind to. Partaking in this project was an eye-opening and wonderful experience as I made friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.”