Our Journey, Together

Thank You for helping us to reach our #GivingTuesday fundraising goal!

We could not do this without you.  We want to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for supporting the work that we have the honor of realizing and accompanying us on this amazing journey.

We raised $18,569!  This amount was matched by $18,000 going directly towards our Ayni Scholarship Fund.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our stories and timeline from the past 15 years and look forward to many more years, accumulating more stories and most of all watching our children grow, learn and flourish!

Missed out on our #GivingTuesday campaign?  No worries!  We are welcoming end-of-the-year donations that will go towards our 2019 Ayni Scholarship Fund for economically challenged indigenous children.

Kusi Kawsay’s aim is to contribute to the formation of a global conscience that respects cultural and ecological diversity, that honors the wisdom and dignity of indigenous traditions and that seeks the unity of human beings within a framework of reciprocity, respect, and social justice.

Kusi Kawsay is committed to sustaining Andean tradition and culture through education, agriculture and celebration of the Andean Calendar.
Join us on our journey of good living, reciprocity and creating healthy, strong and empowered communities.

The Story of Kusi Kawsay

We can hardly believe that it has been 15 years since planting our heart seed that would grow to into Kusi Kawsay – Happy Life.

We are grateful for all those who have shared this journey with us, who have supported us and continue to believe the responsibility and honor we have to care for children, youth, earth and all of life.

Join us on our 2018 #GivingTuesday Journey.

Giving Tuesday falls on November 27th. It is a global day of action, confronting commercialization and consumerism by supporting an organization or cause that enables giving.

We are reaching out to our Kusi Kawsay network, inviting you to join our journey towards Giving Tuesday 2018.

We have matching funds of $18,000! We are aiming to raise $18,000 throughout the month of November.

Each week, we will share the timeline of our journey and share the progress we’ve made together throughout the years and in our Giving Tuesday 2018 fundraising effort to reach $18,000 or more!

What are these funds going towards?

The Giving Tuesday funds raise will go directly towards our Ayni Scholarship Fund to ensure the continuation of our work and impact in the lives of children and youth. Read full details about our scholarship here.

In gratitude for your donation, our community has created a beautiful 2019 digital calendar with photos and drawings from Kusi Kawsay that will be sent to you, as long as you include your email address when donating.

How to share this campaign

Simply copy the link to this page and share it via email or on social media. Furthermore, our Kusi Kawsay website will be hosting the full timeline of the campaign so you can tell your community to visit us at: www.kusikawsay.org

Let’s rise above the noise and share our beautiful journey!

All of us at Kusi Kawsay regret the passing of our dear friend, Tom Webb, this past year. Tom gave so much to each of us, in so many ways, and especially love from his warm and generous heart. We will miss you, but keep you in our hearts, Tom.

#GivingTuesday Week 1

So far we’ve raised $2,385 out of our $18,000 !

2004 – Founders of what eventually would become the Kusi Kawsay Association giving cultural information workshops in different schools in Taray (neighboring village of Pisac).

The aim was and continues to be to contribute to the formation of a global conscience that respects cultural and ecological diversity, that honors the wisdom and dignity of indigenous traditions and that seeks the unity of human beings within a framework of reciprocity, respect, and social justice.

Planting the Seeds

In 2004, we were able to buy land with the purpose of making an Indigenous reservation outside the town area of Pisac. Having our children in state and private schools was not satisfying. After several difficult experiences, we thought about creating our own school.

What we aspired to have was a school that serves the whole community and we would offer our knowledge and unconditional support to do things right.

Our participation in the educational area was initially more external. We visited educational institutions in Pisac and Taray to introduce practical workshops of Andean traditions: music, textiles and weaving, and Andean cosmovision. As a result, the school in Taray, which had a progressive director, made an agreement from 2005 to 2006 to bring in the Waldorf pedagogy and the Andean cosmovision into the state school in a classroom that had 20 students.

However, our quality of education caused antagonism by the traditional teachers resulting in a difficult environment in which tensions became stronger. For that reason, together with a group of parents and their children, we left the school of Taray and found a space in the Center of Basic Education Alternative-Nocturnal (CEBA) – a night school that allowed us to use their facilities during the day. We were well received there by the Director, Professor Marcio la Torre. We began our work in the morning as CEBA was in session in the evenings. We were also supported with the necessary certification for our students while our own certification applications were being processed. CEBA housed us for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 at which point we had grown to have 30 students.

In 2007, Tom Webb brought Ann Beckham – US Representative of Pachamama’s Path – to Peru. This was the beginning of a life-long commitment to sustain traditional culture by working together for the protection, promotion, and cultivation of Andean culture.

In 2009, we began moving to the purchased land known as Acchapata. To initiate our Early Education Programmes known as “Programa no escolarizado de Educación Inicial (PRONOEI)”, we had to accommodate in a room with old walls that had been without a roof since before we purchased the land. That is how we began the proposal with the name “The Hummingbirds (Los Picaflores)”, with 23 girls and boys.

2007 – Center of Basic Education Alternative-Nocturnal (CEBA)

2007 – Before PRONOEI, that is, after leaving Taray, we enabled workshops for children without knowing that in the future we would have our own school.


2009 – Our hummingbird students

#GivingTuesday Week 2

When Seeds Take Root
So far we’ve raised  $3,845 out of our $18,000 goal!


When Seeds Take Root

Our first years, on our land, in Acchapata

Our vision and dream was taking shape.  We had our land, we had the energy and conviction and we were determined.

Thankfully, in 2007, Ann Beckham and members of the Kusi Kawsay Association initiated Pachamama’s Path – our 501(c)(3) in the US.

In 2008, the Kusi Kawsay Association became a legally recognized association. Considering that in order to have an institutional representativeness in our society and process our petitions before the entities of the Peruvian state, we organized ourselves as a non-profit association, obtaining the approval of public records (SUNARP) and the SUNAT (National Superintendence of Customs and Tax administration).

When we first began Kusi Kawsay, we had no idea what that meant and neither did we have specific strategies for financing, nor did we know exactly how the school was going to work. When we were in Taray we did not have to confront teachers’ salaries, infrastructure, furniture or methodologies approaches. This was a new challenge and when we started our school in Pisac, we considered a new situation and unforeseen commitments that included the construction of the school, its implementation, the salary of our teachers, maintenance expenses and everything that entails having our own school. All this was from one moment to the next and it was a different reality. When we jumped into this endeavor, we had to figure out how to get everything we needed.

After more than a year of rectifying the observations of the different areas of the DREC, in 2009 we achieved our long-awaited authorization for the Initial and Primary levels through Directorial Resolution No. 1576, dated July 9, 2009.

The DREC (Regional Education Bureau Cusco) delayed us in approving our request because according to the system we did not meet their “requirements”.  We requested authorization from the Ministry of Education to formalize the existence of our educational project even while at the CEBA (the night school that permitted us to use their facilities).

Simultaneously, in 2010, due to the peculiar way of educating with Andean values and wisdom and integrating the Waldorf pedagogy, UNESCO recognizes our work and includes us in the UNESCO Associated School Network on July 7, for educating students with the overarching goal of promoting peace and international understanding.

2009 – Beginning to build our Kusi Kawsay Andean School





2007 – Pachamama’s Path becomes a legally registered 501(c)(3) in the US. Ann Beckham US Representative to Pachamama’s Path

2008 – Kusi Kawsay becomes a legally registered Association. Photo: Founding Families of the Kusi Kawsay Association

Then came the flood

In 2010, after the terrible floods in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, we started the operation of the Kusi Kawsay school on our Acchapata land. In the Initial level, Professor Sara Franco and assistant Cecilia Arredondo were located and in the Primary, teachers Lourdes Jibaja, Rosaura Farfán and other teachers of the project. Since a large student population joined the school, we had multigrade classrooms, even though our capacity for infrastructure and budget for more teachers was insufficient.  Nonetheless, in times of troubles and struggle is when we amass all our strength and love for one another and we made it through these trying time, together. In 2010, we officially opened our doors to our beautiful Kusi Kawsay Andean School.

2010 – After the flood, we had so many students that we had to accommodate in outdoor classrooms during these difficult times.

We persevered, and continued our journey

Kusi Kawsay’s aim was and continues to be to contribute to the formation of a global conscience that respects cultural and ecological diversity, that honors the wisdom and dignity of indigenous traditions and that seeks the unity of human beings within a framework of reciprocity, respect, and social justice.

#GivingTuesday Week 3

We are a little over half way there!  So far we’ve raised  $9,175 out of our $18,000 goal!



Our Love Labor

2010.  Our doors are open, our land is filled with life and beautiful learning opportunities for indigenous children from Pisac and the surrounding communities.  We never thought this moment would come.  After so many challenges, obstacles anddoubts, our love labor was finding its place, its peace, its happiness.

Kusi Kawsay – Happy Life.

Though the journey began a long time ago, here we were, in our own school, teaching children and youth the values and wisdom of our Andean traditions and culture.  Weaving in elements of Waldorf pedagogy, we were all on an adventure to learn, grow and flourish.

Since the beginning of 2012, we again presented to the DRE-Cusco another document for the expansion of the high school level.  This was approved on September 20, 2013, by means of Directorial Resolution No. 1855.  Finally, we were a certified K – High School and our first study group finished their education at Kusi Kawsay in 2012.

In 2015, we had our first official graduating class.

The group of students who started in the school of Taray, finally finished their high school studies in Acchapata.  These students began in Taray, attended CEBA in Pisac (Alternative Basic Education Center), completed primary school and in 2010, when we had built the first classrooms in Acchapata, these students joined this exciting new beginning that would see so many more students join us for years to come.

Kusi Kawsay’s first official graduates graduated with the name Musuq Illari” – New Dawn.

2010 – our first students at Kusi Kawsay Andean School

2012 – The Study Group completed their Kusi Kawsay education and then went on to create the Kusi Ñan (Happy Path) Organic Farm – a beautiful project still thriving today!

Each May, we celebrate Kusi Kawsay’s anniversary – coinciding with the Southern Cross Star Constellation – the Chakana.

Our first graduating class. 2015

Our love labor broke through the darkness, into the light.

Kusi Kawsay’s aim was and continues to be to contribute to the formation of a global conscience that respects cultural and ecological diversity, that honors the wisdom and dignity of indigenous traditions and that seeks the unity of human beings within a framework of reciprocity, respect, and social justice.

Urpillay Sonqollay – Gratitude from all of us at Kusi Kawsay.

Help us meet our goal of $18,000 by November 27th. Please make a donation today.