Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Andean chakra system of the Cotacachi Kichwas communities


Detailed Information




The Andean chakra is the typical form of agriculture of the Quichua indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorian highlands, although its use has also spread among the mestizo peasant population of that region. It is, at the same time, one of the most widely used family farming practices in the Ecuadorian Andes.

This productive system is mainly characterized by the implementation of integrated and interconnected agro-ecological models in the various climatic floors of the inter-Andean zone, from 2,500 to 3,400 meters above sea level in the Cotacachi area of northern Ecuador.

The Andean chakras transcend the notion of the productive garden that drives the family economy and ensures the food security and sovereignty of the families that grow them. These spaces protect a network of beliefs, knowledge and practices that give them a cultural and spiritual value of vital importance within the Kichwa worldview.