Nuñoa Project Peru | Student Experiences

Nuñoa Project
By: Stephanie Skinner
Photo: Courtesy of Nuñoa Project
Photo Caption: Stephanie Skinner describes her experience with the project in July 2017.

I have been to Peru before, but never this part of Peru. It was beautiful up in the mountains, and an amazing opportunity to work closely and directly with those we were trying to help.

I first became interested in alpacas as undergraduate student doing research with them, but it wasn’t till I arrived in vet school that I heard about the Nuñoa Project. The thought of travelling to Peru to work with camelids was an exciting one, and I was delighted to be able to make that trip happen finally in my 4th year.

It was a totally unique chance to work with alpacas in their native environment, and get a sense of what it is like to work directly with the farmers and herders of the region. It was especially gratifying to see what long years of work has actually done. Some of the farms we visited had implemented really high standards of management and care, and it made an obvious difference in the health of those herds.

I also saw the other side of the equation, as we were going into a couple of communities that were new to the project and still unsure of its utility. Sharing the experience with other vet and pre-vet students made walking up mountains at 13000 feet an adventure, and there was never a shortage of work to be shared. I recommend going on this trip to everyone I know with even a passing interest in camelids because of how much I was able to do and learn and be involved in.

Nuñoa Project veterinary teams led by Dr. Steve Purdy and assisted by Dr. Gerardo Diaz of Lima Peru work with 5 to 7 student and veterinary volunteers twice yearly in Peru.  Nunoa Project has been performing this service to assist farmers for 10 years. Help them raise funds for the next trip here.

Learn more about Nuñoa Project here.