Peru 2018

The Hatters Explorer Scout Unit Greenhouse Project in partnership with Living Heart Peru and the Scouts of Peru in Viacha.

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Read the Peru Write Up


In August 2018, The Hatters travelled to Viacha in, Peru. We worked with a charity called Living Heart Peru and with the help of the charity, the community, five Peruvian scouts and 49 amazing young people, we built a thermal mass greenhouse built from local stone and mud.

Viacha is the poorest community in the Pisac area and one of the poorest in the Cusco region. In Viacha, a combination of weather, climate and poor soil mean that it is extremely difficult to grow anything other than potatoes. Furthermore, the distance from Viacha to the nearest major town, Cusco, and poor infrastructure means there are very few opportunities for the villagers to work and earn money.

The leader team had been planning with ‘Living Heart Peru’ since early 2016. It is a brilliant and ambitious charity; in more accessible villages they have built three successful ‘thermal mass greenhouses’. These are typically 100m long with mud and stone walls, a wooden frame and plastic roof. The greenhouse retains temperature and moisture so that a variety of herbs, salads and vegetables can be cultivated all year round.

An insulated plastic roof retains the heat of the sun during the day, and maintain temperatures during the freezing nights. The greenhouse will provide the community with the conditions needed to grow a variety of nutritious and profitable produce.

You can read more on about our project in this leaflet:

The Project

More information on Living Heart can be found via this link:

Living Heart Peru

We raised £60,000; that’s £1,000 per head while every single person going to Peru is putting in £1,000 themselves.

This gave us the budget we needed to get to Viacha, to invest in materials, tools and seeds plus the ability to invest in the local economy and help the charity with their health and education programme in Viacha.


The Hatters financed (through two years of fundraising) and build 90% of a greenhouse made from mud brick walls, natural cement, wooden pillars and supporting roof and a plastic sheet with irrigation so that the community can now grow food all year.
The Hatters had hoped to complete the greenhouse but some bad weather meant the road to Viacha was impassable so the community have completed the roof themselves but 90% was completed by these brilliant young people in just 4 days. The Greenhouse is 12m long, 7m wide and the roof slopes from 3.5 to 2.5m.
The Hatters paid for all of this, the seeds that will be used, the fertiliser and also paid a group of ladies in the village to cater for them including the cooking equipment, enough food to feed them and their families, crockery and cutlery that the village will now enjoy. Clothes, toothbrushes, pencils, notepads and gifts were also taken for the whole community.
The Hatters and Living Heart Peru have now negotiated a partnership and plan that will unsure the long term success of this project in Viacha and a new education project. There will be regular workshops held in Viacha to teach the primary school and some of the adults how to make the most of the greenhouse.
There is only primary education in Viacha and other Andean communities; some boys are sent away for secondary education but no girls are. In Viacha, there are two adult women who can read and write. Living Heart Peru and the Hatters have agreed a plan to implement a plan that will provide girls in these villages with basic education and some of this will be delivered by some Peruvian Scouts that helped with the greenhouse.

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