Andean Agave Spirit



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Aliados partners with the Mishkita association and Andean Spirits in the creation of an Andean agave spirit made from this incredible 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 sap harvested from the agave once it reaches 12 years of age. Andean Spirits purchases the sap from the association at fair trade prices and markets an award winning liquor internationally. Aliados works closely on this value chain helping Mishkita strengthen their organizational capacity, as well as strenthening sustainable agave agoecology. Mishkita now have the only Andean agave nursery in Ecuador that provides plants for agave reforestation. Aliados is also responsible for the project’s monitoring, evaluation and learning component (MELA), helping the actors in this new value chain learn how to best work together.

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.