Kusi Kawsay is an indigenous school rooted in Andean tradition that applies Waldorf pedagogy, created for economically challenged children of the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Pisac, Peru. It offers an alternative, integral education giving priority to the formation of free human beings.
Established in 2010, we are a coeducational, independent school serving more than 90 children from early childhood through 10th grade. The school is located on a beautiful piece of land overlooking Pisac, at the base of the Pisac archaeological site.
Kusi Kawsay values, respects, and promotes Andean traditional culture, and educates within a culture of peace, solidarity, and reciprocity—the heritage of the student’s ancestors. Kusi Kawsay teaches all of the academic subjects, while following the Andean agrarian calendar, which honors and celebrates the local natural cosmic cycles.The school is striving to develop a global awareness which respects ecological integrity and the wisdom and dignity of indigenous culture, while working within a framework of reciprocity, respect and social justice. By providing a solid education, a dignified sense of self-esteem, and tools to increase economic and emotional levels of well-being, this education will help children, and by extension their families and nation, to leave the marginalized state in which they live, acting as advocates in the context of the greater world.
Kusi Kawsay incorporates all academic subjects such as math, literature, reading, the sciences, geography, and regional and world history with Andean customs, language, history, worldview, traditions, and the arts. It offers children an education that develops their self-esteem, and gives them the skills to become guardians of their communities and their culture.
Kusi Kawsay aims to serve as an educational model that will guide our children to respect their Indigenous Andean identity, surrounding ecological landscapes, and empower themto protect their right to participate in modern society with all the richness of their culture.
Kusi Kawsay hopes to serve as a model for other communities to adopt and adapt the approach so that indigenous children in remote communities can also receive the benefits. Kusi Kawsay produces educational materials for use by other schools in Peru or any other schools who wish to teach a section on Andean life.
Lourdes Jibaja is an important part of Kusi Kawsay’s story. She is the founding Waldorf teacher and dedicated an incredible amount of her time, expertise, energy and love to the creation of this school. We recognize and thank her for such dedication and perseverance. Lourdes and her husband Martin now live in Tarapoto, continue to work in their educational projects there, and will always be connected to and a part of Kusi Kawsay.