From: The Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development
Published: Tue Mar 21 2017

For the first time ever a non-profit society is raising funds to create a film that will tell the story of Julio Hancco, the Potato King of Peru. From an outsider’s perspective, Julio may be seen as a poor farmer in the Andes but he’s actually one of the few guardians left who’s responsible for sustaining biodiversity that is critical to humanity.

The Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD) has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise almost $8,000 to fund the making of "Opening the Earth: The Potato King" film. The goal is to showcase Julio Hancco, his community and the ancient practice of high altitude potato farming. World-famous chefs, international organizations, and agricultural experts in the field all played a role in Julio’s rise. This film contrasts the humble life of a poor Peruvian farmer with the global significance of his traditions.

Aaron Ebner is the founder of AASD and he says of Julio, "By continually cultivating over 300 varieties of potatoes his crops contain the genetic diversity to help adapt to drought, disease, and climate change."

He goes on to explain that not only will the film showcase Julio’s skills but it will also challenge the definition of poverty and instead of focusing on the weaknesses, will search for strengths. "Families with low economic resources survive by being resilient, and solving problems in a resourceful manner," Aaron says. "Opening the Earth strives to uncover hidden strengths of the poor that highlight the mentalities of resilience and resourcefulness that permeate their culture. While the world focuses on helping "impoverished communities" this project strives to learn from them. In a world where we need to be conscious of consumption and unsustainable lifestyles we can learn from the poor."

The purpose of the Kickstarter campaign, which can be found at ( is to raise enough funds to hire a professional videographer to create the short documentary. And the hope is it will be the first in a series of films. "This video will be the stepping stone to create more short documentaries exposing hidden strengths of those deemed ‘poor.’" says Aaron.

The Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development collaborates with indigenous communities and socially responsible entities to create a positive lasting environment which supports human development and a healthy future. For more information about AASD, please contact
Company: The Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development
Contact Name: Jenna
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Contact Phone: +51 938 128 533

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