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Mushuk Yuyay: A New Way

Milton Lindsay | Cañar, Ecuador


In Southern Ecuadorian province of Cañar, Quechuan farmers have watched as industrialized agriculture and the march of modernization have led to the upheaval of their society and the destruction of the natural world. Determined to reverse these trends, community leaders have formed a farmers cooperative called Mushuk Yuyay – Quechuan for ‘a new way’ – to protect and restore their culture and way of life that has sustained for millennia.

The cooperative, which was started 30 years ago, promotes the growth and distribution of Andean grains such as quinoa and amaranth by providing seeds and technical assistance to indigenous farmers in Cañar. During harvest, Mushuk Yuyay collects, processes and distributes the grains and flours to sellers in three provinces in Southern Ecuador.

By using this holistic approach, the leaders of Mushuk Yuyay believe they can provide economic opportunity to small-share indigenous farmers, a traditionally marginalized group. In addition, the association’s requirement that farmers use traditional, agroeconomic farming techniques not only will farming restore the natural balance, it will also make these communities more resistant to the impacts of a changing climate.

Milton Lindsay – documentary photographer based in Philadelphia. 


+1 215 771 0081


Instagram: @miltonlindsay

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