AlpaHa Onlus APS is a non-profit organization made up of parents and professional operators dedicated to creating a work-oriented activity for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the raising of alpacas and the spinning and weaving of their wool.
The young people participating in the project are responsible for taking the animals to pasture, feeding them and cleaning their stalls. The highly prized alpaca wool will be woven on looms into simple handmade articles and clothing.
Why we chose alpacas:
Alpacas are easy to raise and their docile behavior makes them especially suitable for being in contact with humans. They are often used to accompany organized hiking or trekking expeditions and in pet therapy to facilitate communication among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The project also offers music therapy, psychomotricity, and strategies of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (W.O.C.E./ Written Output Communication Enhancement) in order to promote a better quality of life by achieving higher levels of self-reliance.
Our enthusiasm captured City Councilor Alessia Bettini and consequently the City of Florence offered us free use of an unoccupied piece of land next to the Animal Park (Parco degli Animali) at Ugnano (Deliberation no. 448 of October 2016).
The Project wants to prove that diversity is not an island unto itself but is a part of everyone’s responsibility and that it can be a valuable resource for the community.
Alpacas (Vigugna pacos) are a domestic breed of camelids originating in South America. Alpacas are raised for their precious wool and were domesticated 6,000 years ago. Their wool was used to make the robes of the Inca kings. The Conquistadores slaughtered both the Incas and their alpacas, but some animals were hidden in the Andes Mountains by the few survivors and were raised secretly. Because of this their numbers are still low and they are considered to be an endangered species.
Alpaca wool has a natural luminous sheen and is lightweight. Because it contains no lanolin, it is hypoallergenic and won’t mat or pill. Alpacas feed almost exclusively on grass and hay. Their soft padded feet are gentle on their pastures. One particularly curious behavior is their habit of leaving their droppings in two places specifically chosen by the herd, one far from and one near their stalls, so as not to contaminate the grass they eat. Because of these characteristics, alpacas are often used in lawn and garden maintenance. Finally, their gentle and docile character makes alpacas suitable for use in pet therapy for people of all ages with mental or behavioral disturbances.
Our alpacas arrived from the region surrounding Trent in northern Italy on October 25, 2018.
In order fully to develop our project we need everyone’s help.
For donations: (Bank Code) IBAN IT82 K030 6902 9201 0000 0000 787.
The Alpaca Association Onlus is a non-profit organization, inscribed in the official register UNICA delle ONLUS c/o AGE Direzione Regionale della Toscana, on June 26, 2016, as no. 33185.
All legal and natural persons are able to deduct their contributions to our association within the limits and according to the procedures established by law (Art. 15, c.1.1, D.P.R. 917/1986, art.14 D.L. 35/2005 as converted from Legge 80/2005 and art. 100 c.2, lett. h, D.P.R. 917/1986).
Other forms of support:
A special thanks to all those who have supported us in the past and to those who wish to continue their support of our association.
- October 29, 2017. Homemade Pasta Fair, Sant’Andrea in Percussina, Florence.
- October 3, 2017. TV feature on RTV38.
- September 24, 2017. Bake Sale, Parish of San Pio X, Sodo, Florence. Book Fair, Parish of the Capuchins, Florence.
We are located on the outskirts of Florence in an immense green area near the Parco degli Animali: Locality of Ugnano,
How to get there:
Alternative route: take bus 6A (direction Ospedale Torregalli) to bus stop “Antonio Pollaiuolo”; then bus 44/44A (direction Piovano Arlotto) to stop “Ugnano.” Continue by foot, go straight then take the first left, following the signs to the Parco degli Animali.
AlpaHa APS onlus Association - Via I. Pindemonte 54, 50124 Florence email@example.com - CF 94260670487