Sierra.Sur.LandscapeStrategies for International Development (SID) works in the Southern Sierra of Perú. The Sierra region is the mountainous central region of the country, created by two parallel mountain ranges that run up the west coast of South America. In the southern part of Perú, the two mountain ranges are 200 to 300 miles apart and they are bridged nearly to their mountaintops by a huge high plain, which is called the Southern Sierra.
Most of Perú's poor live in the Southern Sierra, and the great majority of them are small farmers. The Southern Sierra is a huge pasture, and the farmers earn their income from alpaca and cattle. In most of this region, farmers raise alpaca for fiber and meat. Alpacas produce extremely fine wool, which is highly prized for making sweaters and other knitwear. Perú is home to 87% of the world's alpaca.

Farmers on the eastern edge of the Southern Sierra, near Lake Titicaca, raise cattle for milk and beef. Cattle need more water than alpaca, and the area near the Lake has more rainfall and better pastures. Also, the urban population of the Southern Sierra lives in the eastern portion of the region, and there is a growing demand for fresh milk, cheese, yogurt, and beef in the cities of the Cuzco, Juliaca, and Puno, from both the residents and the tourists that visit these areas each year.

SID has worked in both the dairy and alpaca areas, helping farmers conserve water, reclaim pastures, and increase their productivity and income.