Gildner (2009) notes that this project was carried out jointly by the Peruvian government and the Cornell University. In 1952, Cornell leased the Vicos hacienda, an operational agricultural estate outside Huaraz highlands. This brought on board 2,250 indigenous peasants who remained contractually glued to the estate. It was until 1966 when the project ended. After its successful completion, it served as a laboratory to U.S. and Peruvian anthropologists who wanted to apply the latest trends in American social sciences to the people of Peru commonly referred to as “Indian problem.” (Cornell University, n.d).
Gildner (2009) reveals that for the Peruvian elites had for many decades attempted to bring an indigenous population largely viewed as backwards and pre-modern into the world of modernity without success. Therefore, it was thought that Cornell Peru Project (CPP) could bring to an end this kind of development dilemma. Cornell, working in partnership with the Instituto Indigenista Peruano (Peruvian Indigenous Institute, IIP), researched both provoked and studied social change among this indigenous population at Vicos using participant intervention method (Cornell University, n.d). By improving conditions in vital areas of education, health care, and agriculture, local anthropologists sought to insulate discrete agents of change and to monitor how effective they were. The main aim of doing this was to help improve the living standards of living of Vicos inhabitants.