The Instituto de Educación Rural was founded by the Archdiocese of Cochabamba. The current head of the school is Hermana Murielle Dubé, a member of The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Laval, Québec. The Aymara women are at the nucleus of family and community life. The support of the women for the project and for the improved potato production methods is essential for the long term sustainability of the project by the communities.
To increase the capacity of the Altiplano women for a leadership role, the project will sponsor 40 young women from the project area that are 18 years or older, to attend for three school years the Instituto de Educación Rural in Quillacollo, a suburb of Cochabamba. The following courses are offered, * reading & writing * bookkeeping * hygiene * basic medical care * assisting with child birth * animal care * agronomy Classes are daily from 08:30 - 12:00 and from 13:30 - 18:00 and on Saturday to 12:00. Knowledge is power. We hope that by giving an opportunity for education to young women, the knowledge base of the community will be more robust. Knowledgeable women may have a positive influence on the quality of the potato culture and are better prepared to, * purchase new seed potatoes * select seed potatoes * manage the chuño production * administer the barter and trade at peasant fairs * sustain the agricultural disciplines that are acquired with the Chuño project. These practical improvements may have a positive effect on the health and well-being of the family and may reduce the desire to migrate to the city.