Photo of Havens Helping Hands at a "Minga"

Image of Haven’s Helping Hands Organization

Certain Andean communities used the word “minga” to refer to the agricultural collective work that benefited the entire community. The Quechua (Kichwa) dictionary by the government of Cusco in Peru, adds an interesting perspective to this definition:

Minga entails a collaborative work system that dates back to the Incas. It refers to the commitment, contract or work agreement between two or more people. The word minga also stands for meeting or reunion.

The word minga has continued to evolve in that direction. Nowadays, in South America, it refers to community work or work among friends when they need help from each other. In addition to this, mingas usually include a feast to celebrate the collaboration and hard work.

So here is the idea: invite your neighbor to help paint the fence you share or prune the tree that gives you both shade with the promise of some yummy goodies to reward yourselves. Remember that you share the commitment to keep beautiful, healthy and safe the place where you live, and after all – when was the last time you shared a beer together?

Carry the traditions of the Quechua people to build your community!