WanKu
$7,416 of $10,000
21 days left
WanKu
"The Healing Water" from the Andes Mountains of Ecuador
$7,416
of $10,000
21 days left
We are bringing "the healing water" to the US for the first time! It is a delicious herbal infusion drink that has been consumed for centuries in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. We will be helping independent Ecuadorian farmers improve their quality of life, and helping preserve the tradition of creating "the healing water."

“The healing water” story

Delicious and fun!

Your Gifts for Contributing
$25+
WanKu Duo - Experience "The Healing Water"
$45+
WanKu 4 Friends Box
$100+
WanKu Big Supporter Pack
About this project

Six months ago my co-founder Nicolás Estrella and I, Juan Giraldo, went on a road-trip to the southern part of Ecuador. We visited a small village in the middle of the Andes Mountains called Chuquiribamba where we met Don Miguel Tambo, a local independent farmer.

Photo 1. CHUQUIRIBAMBA VILLAGE, LOJA PROVINCE, ECUADOR Chuquiribamba Village, Loja Province, Ecuador

Don Miguel introduced us to a traditional herbal infusion known as “el agua que cura,” which translates as “the healing water,” a drink that has been brewed and consumed for centuries in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. It’s delicious! “The healing water” is a refreshing tea-like drink with a fruity and aromatic taste, accented with a hint of lime.

The drink is called “the healing water” because of its healthy properties. This beverage is ubiquitous in this region of the country, as almost everyone there drinks it every day.

Photo 2. “THE HEALING WATER” TRADITIONAL BREWING PROCESS. “The healing water” traditional brewing process

While this experience was amazing, we were shocked to learn just how difficult the life of an Ecuadorian farmer is. They struggle to make a living by growing the medicinal herbs used in “the healing water,” but they only earn $1.25 a day because they lack the means to get their products out to bigger markets.

This income is simply not enough to sustain their families, so many farmers are being forced to leave the countryside and move to cities to hopefully find better opportunities. If this migration continues, the tradition of cultivating herbs and brewing “the healing water” will disappear.

Photo 3. WANKU’S CO-FOUNDER NICOLÁS WITH DOÑA MARÍA, DON MIGUEL’S WIFE. WanKu’s co-founder Nicolás with Doña María, Don Miguel’s wife

That is why we started WanKu. We believe that “the healing water” is something that should be shared with the world, and by creating a fair-trade value chain around its ingredients, we can help Ecuadorian farmers improve their income, thereby helping to preserve their traditions.

We asked Don Miguel to teach us how to prepare “the healing water,” and told him our idea of sharing this tradition with the world, and the positive impact this could have for him and the community of Chuquiribamba.

Don Miguel was more than happy to share his recipe with us, because he told us that he and everyone in his community are hard working people that only want better opportunities. He said that he would be thrilled to become our first supplier of the medicinal herbs required to produce “the healing water.”

So, we developed WanKu based on the traditional “healing water” recipe, with little tweaks in the amount of sugar to make it even healthier. Our ingredients are organic, non-GMO, and sourced directly from independent Ecuadorian farmers at fair trade prices.

Photo 4. WANKU HERBAL INFUSION WanKu, an Andean herbal infusion drink

WanKu Ingredients

WanKu’s ingredients are water, organic lime flavor, organic sugar cane (11 g per 16 fl oz bottle), organic stevia, and a blend of more than 20 herbs and flowers:

• Lemongrass • Escancel • Mix of Flowers (Rose, Violet & Carnation) • Mint • White Malva • Chamomile • Red Root Amaranth • Lemon Balms • Peppermint • Lemon Verbena • White Basil • Black Basil • Linseed • Fennel • Malva Essence • Sweet Oregano • Starflowers • Malva Olorosa • Congona • Burnet

Health Benefits

“The healing water” has been revered for centuries in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador for having great digestive and anti-stress properties. 15 of the plants used for WanKu have analgesic properties, 13 help the digestive system, 12 are anti-inflammatory, and 10 can help with stomachaches. This is why WanKu is great for your gut health - drinking it will naturally soothe your body and will help your digestive system.

Now we need your help to bring “the healing water” to the US!

With your support, we are going to bring the first shipment of medicinal herbs from Ecuador to the US so we can make our inaugural production run of WanKu in Boston, Massachusetts.

Reaching our funding goals will get the ball rolling for WanKu because this production will help us obtain market validation, and leverage it to secure future distribution. But most importantly, together we can start making a real and positive difference in the lives of independent Ecuadorian farmers like Don Miguel, and help preserve this amazing tradition!

“WanKu” means together.

WanKu [Wuan-Koo] is a Quechua word that means “together.” Fittingly, we are working “together” with independent Ecuadorian farmers to help them improve their quality of life through a drink that has more than 20 herbs and flowers blended “together.”

Photo 5. WANKU IN A NUTSHELL WanKu in a nutshell

Learn more about us:
Stepping-stones

Enjoy WanKu, and help independent Ecuadorian farmers!

1st stepping-stone
Bring WanKu to You!

Reaching our 1st stepping-stone will provide the funds needed to make WanKu’s first-ever production batch in the United States! With your support, we’ll be able to bring the first shipment of medicinal herbs from Ecuador, and make our first production run of WanKu in Boston, Massachusetts.

We have developed a stable recipe that can be scaled to make bigger production runs, all while maintaining the same quality and taste as the traditional “healing water.” We have established a partnership with a co-packer in Boston that can brew WanKu according to our recipe, and bottle and label it for distribution.

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2nd stepping-stone
"The Healing Water" for Everyone!

Reaching our 2nd stepping-stone will provide the means to start expanding our sales area so we can make WanKu available to more people like you - those who like healthy and delicious products that are also helping to shape a better world.

We’re going to focus this initial growth phase on reaching natural product stores, healthy restaurants, cafés, yoga studios, etc. We need your support with this stepping-stone so that we can invest in sales and marketing efforts to make this happen.

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3rd stepping-stone
Help Ecuadorian Farmers Thrive!

Currently, independent farmers in Chuquiribamba face one main problem: due to the small volume of produce grown by each farmer, they don’t have the means of transportation to get their products to a large market, forcing them to work with middlemen that pay them a tenth of the market price for their products.

Right now, we are buying the herbs and flowers needed to produce WanKu directly from farmers at fair trade prices, cutting out the middlemen. But we realize this is not enough to make a real impact on the farmers’ lives.

Reaching our 3rd stepping-stone will enable us to help farmers set up a small agricultural cooperative facility, also known as a farmers’ co-op. This will allow farmers to pool their resources in order to acquire machinery and build a collection center for their crops. Moreover, the farmers’ co-op will allow them to transport their products directly to market, eliminating the middlemen and increasing their income.

This means that farmers will be able to increase their incomes in a sustainable way, and they will not depend solely on WanKu to buy their products, as they will have the means to thrive by themselves.

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Who is WanKu
Juan Giraldo
CEO + Co-Founder

I am a passionate entrepreneur, a dreamer, but a doer at the same time. I love the challenges, risks, and rewards that the entrepreneurial journey provides!

WanKu is the realization of years of learning and growth in my life. It is an opportunity to share the amazing traditions we have in Ecuador with the rest of the world, all while really treating the independent Ecuadorian farmers with respect and love. WanKu means an opportunity to show the world that a business can be consciously built based on care, love, and trust.

WanKu is the dream of a group of friends with a burning desire to challenge the status quo, do business, and have a positive impact on our country.

And finally, I see WanKu as an opportunity to inspire other Ecuadorians to pursue their dreams, to think big, and to work as hard as possible to make it happen!

Nicolás Estrella
CMO + Co-Founder

I’m Nicolás Estrella, and I was really fortunate to be born and raised in Ecuador, a small country in South America with lots of diversity and filled with great people and incredible traditions.

One of the benefits of growing up in a country on the equator is that it has the perfect weather and the right soil for growing great produce year round.

Therefore, we grow up surrounded with superfoods like amaranth, yam, kale, chia, quinoa, and many more. They have been consumed by centuries in our country, so there are tons of ancestral traditions and ways to prepare them.

I truly believe that this tradition has the potential to be shared with the world, and by doing this we can help improve the livelihoods of thousands of independent Ecuadorian farmers that rely on growing this produce, but struggle with low incomes because they lack the means to get their produce to bigger markets.

“The healing water” is one of these traditions.

It is an incredibly tasty and healthy beverage that is made with some plants that only grow in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador.

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship. I previously founded two other e-commerce startups where I learned a lot about building and growing a brand.

We started WanKu based on our passion for entrepreneurship, and the desire to preserve the ancestral traditions of our country and share them with the world. And by doing so, we are going to help a lot of farmers improve their livelihoods.

Thank you for helping us share “the healing water” with the world!

Your Gifts for Contributing
Contribution of $25 or more
WanKu Duo - Experience "The Healing Water"

Experience for the first time the amazing taste and health benefits of this ancestral Andean tradition!

Contributors at this level will receive:

Duo Box (2 bottles) of WanKu

+

Thank you postcard from the founders and Chuquirubamba farmers

+

Shout out on social media for you or your business

+

50% discount coupon for future purchases of WanKu on Amazon for ONE MONTH

Shipping in the contiguous US

71 contributors
Contribution of $45 or more
WanKu 4 Friends Box

We know WanKu friends and fans will want to take their contribution to this level because they are awesome!

Contributors at this level will receive:

4-Pack (4 bottles) of WanKu

+

Thank you postcard from the founders and Chuquirubamba farmers

+

Hand-painted table decoration made by indigenous communities from the Andes Mountains to show to the world you are part of this dream too

+

Shout out on social media for you or your business

+

50% discount coupon for future purchases of WanKu on Amazon for TWO MONTHS

Shipping in the contiguous US

26 contributors
Contribution of $100 or more
WanKu Big Supporter Pack

Big dreams need big supporters! If you are one of our biggest supporters, this pack is just for you!

Contributors at this level will receive:

One case (12 bottles) of WanKu

+

Thank you postcard from the founders and Chuquirubamba farmers

+

Hand-painted table decoration made by indigenous communities from the Andes Mountains to show to the world you are part of this dream too

+

Hand-painted wall decoration made by indigenous communities from the Andes Mountains to bring some Ecuadorian life to your home

+

Thank you video from the farmers; we are going to personally go to Chuquiribamba and tell the farmers who are the biggest supporters of this dream so we can make a video of them saying thanks to you

+

Shout out on social media for you or your business

+

50% discount coupon for future purchases of WanKu on Amazon for THREE MONTHS

Shipping in the contiguous US

29 contributors