Post-Grant Reports


Peru Ethnomedical Project: Community Garden(s) and Survey of Community Ethnomedical Practices and Knowledge

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Anthropology | Environmental Sciences | Plant Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sustainability


The combination of Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant and Faculty Development Grant funds enabled me to work closely in northern Peru in summer 2015 with three Linfield students to provide key support for the ongoing efforts of a project to document and foster traditional ethno-medical practices, as well as to take first steps on a potentially NSF-fundable solar energy research project in southwestern Peru.

Linfield funds supported Kiana Ringuette (International Relations) and Sandra Garcia (Health Education), along with Lorena Alvarez (Health Education) (who obtained MHIRT (Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training) funding) for eight weeks of full-time collaborative research in northern Peru on two projects. The first project was a demonstration medicinal plant garden. Building on the original work by Linfield students in summer 2010, the three Linfield students rehabilitated the medicinal plant demonstration garden adjacent to the Chan Chan archaeological site museum just north of Trujillo, Peru. Since Lorena had MHIRT support, we were able to use MHIRT funds to support outreach programs, materials and plant costs, and two Peruvian consultants to guide and advise the students – ethno-botanist Carolina Tellez, and medicinal plant specialist and healer Julia Calderon. The demonstration garden will have important educational outcomes for local schoolchildren and visitors alike.

The second project was a community survey in Moche, Peru. Paired with two MHIRT-supported students, the three Linfield students conducted community surveys in two neighborhoods of the traditional community of Moche on the southern edge of the Trujillo metropolitan area. Under the supervision of Doug Sharon, me, and Marisa Alvarez (a MHIRT-funded San Diego State University master’s student in medical anthropology), all three students worked with their SUNY Buffalo peers to survey medicinal plant practices and knowledge in two neighborhoods - Alto Moche 2 (more recent highland immigrants) and downtown Moche (traditional, formerly indigenous community). Results from the community survey will be analyzed and published by the University of Buffalo principal investigators, likely in the online Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.


This research was conducted as part of a Linfield College Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant in 2015, funded by the Office of Academic Affairs.

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