Mission:

Providing access to education that is rooted in Andean culture and tradition by enabling a bilingual intercultural experience using the most up-to-date teaching methods, which confront the challenges of today’s reality for children, young people and families who have few opportunities to access a respectful education.

Kusi Kawsay aims to serve as an educational model, which will inspire other indigenous schools to approach learning through a sensitive and stimulating environment while honoring and celebrating traditional ways of life.

By supporting traditional cultural practices, children will embrace the ecological mindfulness of their ancestors, and help foster a balanced ecosystem.

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Vision:

Kusi Kawsay envisions accompanying children in their development, respecting their integral being, customs, history, mythology, worldview and tongue. We provide equal opportunity for girls and boys alike to participate in society with developed problem solving, creative decision making and acute leadership skills, woven with a common thread of an intact self-esteem and a richly dignified sense of cultural identity.

Kusi Kawsay’s guiding intentions and principles:

  • May indigenous and mixed race children attending Kusi Kawsay advance academically, emotionally and socio-culturally with increased self-esteem, cultural identity and pride and a sense of empowerment.
  • May indigenous parents may feel more empowered and able to assume an active role and voice in their child’s education.
  • May the unique curriculum used at Kusi Kawsay be developed and “transportable” to other communities throughout Peru and, possibly, globally.
  • May community members of all ages feel more connected and engage actively in support of the school (e.g., through program involvement, construction projects, etc.).
  • May Kusi Kawsay be not only an educational program but also a strategy for broad cultural revival and social change to ensure the rights of indigenous people.
  • May it inspire students at the school as well as members of other Indigenous communities to preserve and practice traditional Andean ways.
  • May Kusi Kawsay’s research and documentation of Quechua knowledge and customs ensure long lasting preservation of Indigenous wisdom and culture.
  • May all these efforts add up to ensuring long-term benefits locally and globally.

Kusi Kawsay is a critical part of building the movement to create longer-term change identified by the articles in the UN’s Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples. By the power of a different kind of education, a new generation of indigenous youth can developas leaders and activists, capable of advocating for their rights locally and globally. Like the Andean agrarian cycle, the “seeds” of cultural pride planted now and strengthened with each planting cycle is an investment in making a better future.