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Andean Project of Peasant Technologies (PRATEC)


Abstract

A nongovernmental organization (NGO) dedicated to spreading Andean perspectives on peasant agriculture and culture through writing and teaching, PRATEC seeks to participate in the collective, direct action efforts of Andean peasants to counter socially and ecologically destructive effects of industrial development and governmental agrarian reforms. Through the de-professionalization of knowledge, the adoption of a non-dualistic worldview that is non-anthropocentric, and the practice of “ritual agriculture,” PRATEC seeks to support the resurgence of native peasant approaches to agri/culture, which it sees as radically opposed to Western industrial capitalism. The Andean peasant practice of ritual agriculture embraces kinship oriented visions of the land and encourages empathetic actions that illustrate respect for all living entities of the biosphere. Agricultural activities are accompanied by ritual actions, utterances, and offerings that express both a deep respect for Pachamama (Mother Earth), and communitarian aspects that characterize the worldview of the Andean people.

Religion

Indigenous Tradition

Geographic Location

Peruvian Andes

Duration of Project

1987–Present

History

After founding PRATEC in 1987, Grimaldo Rengifo was joined by two other native Andean peasants, Eduardo Grillo and Julio Valladolid, in seeking an alternative to modern Western approaches to development and agriculture in the Peruvian Andes. Giving up their respective professions in the field of development, these three men turned to the traditions and agricultural practices of rural, native, peasants who have been organizing themselves locally and reappropriating land through direct action campaigns since the 1950s. Seeing potential in the traditional combination of culture and agriculture that characterized the peasant movement, the members of PRATEC dedicated themselves to spreading this approach, which they contrast to industrial capitalism, modern Western approaches to development, and the professionalization of knowledge. In 1990, they began teaching a course on Andean culture and agriculture for native peasants involved in rural development. Soon after, they adopted a more spiritual approach by deferring to the wisdom of the wakas (deities), consulting a maestro (shaman), and performing various rituals as part of the group’s decision-making process.

Mission Statement

None Listed

Partner Organizations

None Listed

Long-Term Goals

None Listed

Bibliography

Julio Valladolid and Frederique Apffel-Marglin, “Andean Cosmovision and the Nurturing of Biodiversity” in Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community, ed. John Grim (Cambridge, Mass.: Center for the Study of World Religions; Harvard University Press, 2001) 639–70.

Additional Research Resources

Frederique Apffel-Marglin, The Spirit of Regeneration: Andean Culture Confronting Western Notions of Development (London: Zed Books, 1998).

Contact Information

PRATEC
www.pratec.org.pe
Calle Martín Pérez 866
Magdalena. Lima 11, Perú.
Ph/Fx:       054.1.2612825
Email:       (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)