Partner to the Chijnaya Foundation in its watershed defense campaign, Suma Marka (Aymara for “Beautiful Place”) is a Puno-based nonprofit that was founded in 2007 by a group of young environmental professionals from the region. Their mission is to undertake conservation and natural resource research that promotes sustainable development of communities and places value on its tradicional cultures and way of life. They specialize in environmental assessment and monitoring, and have completed evaluations of water quality and terrestrial ecosystems in the province of Juli and on the Capachica Peninsula. Current projects include ethnobotanical surveys in the communities of Juli and Llachón, and the development of community gardens that feature native plants used in household tasks, traditional cuisine, and local homeopathic medicine.
Suma Marka, the Chijnaya Foundation, and Global Water Watch have joined forces in the Suma Quta (“Beautiful Lake”) Project, a community based water monitoring initiative that was inaugurated in 2009. The project equips and trains volunteers from willing communities to measure physical, chemical, and biological water quality parameters.
The Suma Quta project brought together the efforts of the Chijnaya Foundation, Suma Marka, and Global Water Watch to found the first community-based water monitoring network in southern Peru.