We were excited when we found out that 2008 is the International Year of The Potato, but we went through the roof when we learned that Cusco in Peru has a potato park! Recently, over a hundred international scientists visited the park as part of a conference titled, "Potato Science for the Poor: Challenges for the New Millennium". The Cusco Potato Park sits at high elevations, from around 11,500 to about 13,300 feet. Papa arariwas or local conservation experts guided the (likely) breathless scientist around the park showing hundreds of local varieties. The biodiversity found in this park represents an important resource for the global food supply.
"Working together, you, the scientists, and we, the arariwas, is the best way to work for future generations", said Justino Yuccra, an arariwa from the Cuello Largo community. "You have the modern knowledge, we have the indigenous knowledge, if we link them, we could increase our biodiversity and also help other people to face climate change."