Andean Agave: Mezcal



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Aliados partners with the Mishkita association and Andean Spirits LLC in the creation of an Andean mezcal made from this unique plant. Andean agave (agave americana) grows wild in the Ecuadorian highlands and is known to have over 120 traditional uses. As they’ve done for generations, the Mishkita indigenous women's association in Cayambe produce chawar mishky, a sweet nectar harvested from the agave once it reaches 12 years of age. Andean Spirits LLC purchases the nectar from the association at fair trade prices and markets a liquor internationally. Aliados is an equity shareholder in Andean Spirits LLC, and this non-profit/for profit hybrid innovation helps to diversify the Foundation’s income portfolio, and better balance our private partner’s economic, social and environmental commitments. Aliados provides direct support to this supply chain by providing start up capital, building local organization and business management capacity, and ensuring sustainable management of the agave ecosystem.

What We’ve Accomplished So Far:

  1. Over the last six months the project has generated $10,000 in additional income for the women’s association

  2. A fair trade social premium established

  3. Reforesting of 1,200 agave seedlings in 2018.

  4. Formation of a committed indigenous women’s cooperative.

  5. Partnership building between Mishkita women’s association and Andean Spirits LLC.