Red Puna Network

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The Coya tribe of Argentina have been inhabiting the rugged terrain in the foothills of the Andes, in the northwest region of the country, for over 10,000 years. Today, only 3,000 Coyas, traditionally llama farmers and weavers, remain living in small villages scattered around the Jujuy province.

Fifteen years ago they formed themselves into the Red Puna network to collectively address problems to do with their welfare and land rights. While UNESCO inscribed a swathe of their land as a world heritage site in 2003, global mining companies are drilling into the lithium rich mountains and polluting scarce water supplies which will destroy the Coya’s fragile economy.

The Coyas are beginning to make their voice heard as a community and enterprise collective. They are relearning lost weaving skills with the support of two Buenos Aires designers, and are campaigning hard to keep their land.

AfH London took part in a research project to find out how architecture and planning can respond to the needs of the Red Puna community. The project was set up by Dr Claudia Murray, architect and research fellow at the School of Real Estate and Planning, University of Reading.


Project Lead: Katherine McNeil

Project Details

Location: Jujuy, Argentina

Completion Date: 2014


Project Team

Arome Agamah

AfH Volunteer


Katherine McNeil

AfH Volunteer


Ana-Laura Mohirta

AfH Volunteer


Zoe Powell

AfH Volunteer




  • Architecture for Humanity
  • Makerversity - Somerset House
  • New Wing - Lancaster Place
  • London WC2R 1LA


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