The FullCircle Project in Peru

Episode one of their skiing and community service mission

Words: Matt Philippi, Producer, director, editor, fundraiser, and skier for The FullCircle Project

This past summer, the FullCircle crew ventured to Peru and Chile for our third annual community service and skiing initiative.

We were based in the town of Amaru, Peru, which sits above 12,000 feet. Our goal was to help the community there construct a recycling center to help reduce the use of a growing open pit dump that is contaminating the land. We contributed two weeks of hard work and donated $3,000, which covered the cost of the center. We were able to fund the project through six months of fundraising.

Amaru is a town of 200 families located in an area known as El Parque de las Papas, The Park of the Potatoes. The people of this town are descendants of the Incan Empire and the park is dedicated to the preservation of that ancient culture. That culture includes, but is not limited to, their agricultural work on 1,800 species of native potatoes, knowledge of medicinal plants and herbs, and the continued practice of the Incan language: Quechua. In the age of GMOs, pesticides, and fertilizers, they practice organic agriculture because they live on the land that they are farming and wish not to poison their families, livestock or Pacha Mama, or Mother Nature.

A theme that permeated our whole experience in the Andes was the connection to Pacha Mama. The people of Amaru survive by working with the land and listening closely to it. As skiers, we too, survive by listening closely to what nature is telling us.

Our experience in Amaru was something that will stay with us the rest of our lives. This is the first of three episodes that attempts to share that experience, as well as some great skiing, with you.

The FullCircle Project is a community service and skiing initiative started by pro skier Matt Philippi and friends. The idea is to go on a ski trip to the Andes and then add a couple weeks of volunteer work to the mix. The FullCircle crew has worked on three separate volunteer projects in Chile and Peru. This episode is the first of three that cover our most recent adventure last August.

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