Peru: Hilaria Supa Huamán

Peace is the respect for all cultures. It is the care of Pachamama (Mother Earth).

— Hilaria Supa Huamán

She loves life in spite of everything. Conceived as the result of a rape, she herself was raped at the age of 14. Her name is Hilaria Supa Huamán. She is 47 years old and self-educated. She has lived in Lima, the capital of Peru. She now lives in Huallaccocha, in Cuzco. She campaigns for agriculture and for the women of the countryside. For more than 20 years, she has been dedicated to organizing women and preserving the ancient wisdom and culture of the Andes. For the last six years, she has also been working in search of justice for women who were forcefully sterilized.

Hilaria Supa Huamán faced discrimination and abandonment. She claims attention to the needs of the rural areas, celebrates the harvest, applies her ancestral wisdom and acts as a facilitator and mediator. For over 20 years, she has been dedicating herself to organizing women collectively. She lives in Huallacocha, Anta, in Cuzco. Along with others, she contributed to the creation of women's committees and, in 1991, to the creation of the Women's Federation of Anta. They worked on literacy programs. She learned the first letters; she was a self-taught person. In 1995, she traveled to the Conference of Women in Beijing. At that meeting, the Peruvian government offered to implement a family planning program. However, then it was transformed into the forced sterilization of poor and indigenous women. In 2001, Hilaria and 12 female companions from the countryside went to Lima to denounce those abuses. Nowadays, she is a member of the Foundational Line Ample Movement of Women, that leads the Campaign For Truth, Justice and Compensation on the forced sterilizations. The investigations have been reinstated and hope has been revived. Lilia Lazo, a popular Peruvian leader, says: “Hilaria has already surpassed herself. She has the wisdom to know where to go and what to say. She speaks with a Minister or member of Parliament without losing her own identity.” Hilaria Supa Huamán wrote the book ‘Thread of my life’ and has inaugurated the House of Awakening, a place for the teaching of indigenous history and customs, a place where people can come to thank the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and ask her for the strength to continue the fight for truth, justice and peace.

Foundational Line Ample Movement of Women House of Awakening