A local women´s co-op is working with the US-based Denver Zoo on conservation efforts on Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca faces many environmental threats due to its contamination from litter, local pollution, as well as pollution from nearby mines, threatening the habitat of many native species.
One species in particular caught the attention of the Denver Zoo: the Lake Titicaca Frog. The disappearance of this species as a result of habitat loss and poaching, spurred Denver Zoo´s initial conservation efforts.
While the zoo has been working for a few years with a team of educators, scientists, and conservationists in the region, the zoo soon realized it needed the support of the local community to further this effort.
This is where the women´s co-op came in. Women from local communities in and around Puno came together to form the cooperative, Ccori Ampara, which translates to Hands of Gold in English. The co-op makes and sells artisanal goods that depict the frog in order to raise awareness.
The Denver Zoo now works hand in hand with the women of Ccori Ampara, providing the support and guidance this business venture needs. Futhermore, the zoo also ships these products to Denver to be sold in their gift shop.
Through this partnership, the women have supported themselves and their families, as well as learned about the importance of the frog, becoming local ambassadors in their communities to educate others on this issue.