In the Andean highlands of Peru, the Quechua, the indigenous peoples of South America, care for 95 percent of the world's alpacas. The fiber the animals provide finds its way into luxury yarns and textiles across the globe, but most of the shepherds and their families live their lives in extreme poverty. In 1996 a world-renown Peruvian alpaca breeder asked his American counterpart a simple question: Could the alpaca breeders of the United States help the impoverished children of his hometown of Macusani? The answer was yes.
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