Alex Alvarez, PhD, Academic Director
A native of Cuzco, Dr. Alvarez received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the National University of Cuzco, his master’s in social sciences with a focus in environmental management and development from the Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLASCO), and his PhD in development studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. During the course of his studies, Alex received doctoral fellowships at the National Centre of Competence in North-South Research in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Russell E. Train Education for Nature program with the World Wildlife Fund. He also received the Exchange Legacy Lelong grant for social anthropology research from the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in France.
Alex became interested at an early age in indigenous communities of the Amazon and the Peruvian Andes, especially the impact of public policy on aspects of indigenous life. The results of his research have been presented in several scientific papers as well as at conferences in Peru and abroad. His latest publication, in the Latin American Journal of Conservation, explores the relationship of land ownership and the conservation of natural resources in terms of environmental sustainability and social justice in the Peruvian Amazon. He provides volunteer technical and scientific support to the Indigenous Federation of Madre de Dios (FENAMAD) in southeastern Peru on issues related to environmental governance, property rights, cultural landscapes, natural resource extraction, and conservation of biodiversity in indigenous territories.
View Dr. Alvarez's complete CV.
Milagros del Carpio, Program Coordinator
Milagros del Carpio studied social communication at San Antonio Abad University in Cuzco. She has worked for several years in the fields of alternative cross-cultural education and environmental education. She specializes in interpersonal relations training with adults and young leaders as well as large-scale public service campaigns through international NGOs such as CARE and UNICEF. As a journalist, she worked at the newspaper El Comercio and the magazine Somos in Lima. She has also hosted a radio program in Cuzco, Como en Casa. In addition, she has acted in several plays and a television production and had the lead role in two Peruvian films about terrorism and drug trafficking. In her role as program coordinator, Milagros works with the academic director in developing program activities, helps oversee the program’s structure, and assists students with daily issues and cross-cultural communication.
Julia Catalán Cervantes, Rural and Homestay Coordinator
Julia was born in the Apurimac region, in the southern part of the Andean mountains of Peru. She is a native Quechua speaker; she learned her second language of Spanish at the age of 16. Due to political violence in Peru, she had to leave that region, migrating to Cuzco. Julia has worked with the program since 2010, performing administrative duties and supporting students and staff. In 2013, Julia began work as the program’s rural coordinator and is in charge of the coordination of homestays and field activities on Taquile Island and in Arequipa.
Faculty and lecturers typically include:
Luis Nieto Degregori
Luis Nieto Degregori holds a degree in philology from the University Patricio Lumumba in Moscow and was a professor at the National University of San Cristóbal de Huamanga throughout periods of political violence in Peru. Luis Nieto is one of the most important contemporary writers in Peru. He has written several novels and short stories, many of them about political violence, as well as historic and urban novels like Señores de Estos Reynos, Cuzco Después del Amor, and Asesinato en la Gran Ciudad del Cuzco, among many others. Nieto is also a renowned researcher and independent consultant, with extensive literary publications, essays, and newspaper articles. He is currently coordinator of the dissemination unit of the indigenous nongovernmental organization Guaman Poma de Ayala and the editor of the journal Crónicas Urbanas.
Antonio Zapata Velasco
Antonio Zapata Velasco earned his PhD in history with a specialization in Latin America at Columbia University, New York. He is a well-known historian, political consultant, university professor, and writer, renowned for his research on Peruvian history and sociopolitical issues. Previously, he was a professor at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos; currently, he is a professor at the Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú. Dr. Zapata is also a columnist for one of the most important newspapers in Peru, La República, and a political analyst. He is an associated researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP) and was formerly the director and presenter of the television history program Sucedió en el Perú.
Lucy Ann Trapnell
Lucy Ann Trapnell is an anthropologist and professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú with a master’s degree in education from Bath University, UK. She is co-founder of the Programa de Formación de Maestros Bilingües de la Amazonia Peruana, a training program for bilingual Peruvian Amazonian teachers, which is used by the indigenous confederation AIDESEP. Throughout the last twenty-five years she has been involved in teacher training programs with Amazonian indigenous peoples in addition to developing many studies and publishing diverse articles on intercultural bilingual education, with an emphasis in curricular topics and educational practice.
Richard Chase Smith
Richard Chase Smith is the executive director of the Instituto del Bien Común (IBC), in Lima, Peru. He earned a doctorate in anthropology from Cornell University and has since held positions as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, a visiting senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center and a professor at the National Agrarian University in Lima. He has resided and worked in Peru (and other Amazonian-Andean countries) for the past 40 years. His primary focus has been the invisibility of indigenous peoples in Peru and Latin America, with his initial work concentrating on political organization for land rights for indigenous peoples, analyzing this topic in terms of the Yánesha people and the Amazon Basin at the national and continental level. Dr. Smith has also been the director of the South America program for Oxfam America for fifteen years.
Alberto Chirif is a Peruvian anthropologist from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru. For the last 40 years, his professional practice has focused on Amazonian topics, especially concerning the collective rights of indigenous peoples. He works as an independent consultant and has written many specialized articles and books, including Atlas de Comunidades Nativas, El Indígena y Su Territorio, and Marcando Territorio: Progresos y Limitaciones de la Titulación de Territorios Indígenas en la Amazonía.
Ramón Pajuelo is an anthropologist from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru, and holds two master’s degrees, one in Latin American history from the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, and one in Andean history from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Ecuador). He is principal researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, the most prestigious social studies institute in the country. His work focuses on rural communities and indigenous peoples as well as social movements and ethnicity and politics.
Silvio Campana has been the official governmental ombudsman for the Cuzco region since 1998 and is a member of the Anticorruption Unit of the Peruvian National Ombudsman’s Office. He is a lawyer from the Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal (Lima, Peru), specializing in criminal law, human rights, and conflict resolution. He holds two master’s degrees from the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares (Spain), conducted postgraduate studies in human rights and health at the Universidad Cayetano Heredia (Lima, Peru), and was an intern at the USAID program for human rights and democracy. He has been an advisor of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, director of various international cooperation projects, and professor at the Universidad Andina del Cusco.
Thomas Moore is a US-born anthropologist who earned his PhD at the Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research, New York. He conducted ethnological field research among the Harakbut in south eastern Peru (1973–75) and has maintained a relationship with them and other indigenous peoples of the region since then. He is co-founder and the first president and executive director of Centro Eori de Investigación y Promoción Regional, a nongovernmental organization based in Puerto Maldonado, and has been a short-term advisor to many indigenous organizations in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia. He has taught anthropology at four universities in the US and at San Marcos University in Peru. Additionally, he has managed diverse development programs for USAID in South and Central America and Pakistan and for the United Nations Development Programme in Peru.
Daniel Rodriguez, PhD candidate at Kent University, UK, is an anthropologist actively involved in a broad range of issues relating to indigenous rights in the Madre de Dios river basin in southeastern Peru, with a special focus on voluntarily isolated indigenous peoples. Most of his work has been developed within indigenous organizations, in particular advising FENAMAD (Federación Nativa de Madre de Dios) on the impacts of gold mining and oil and gas concessions, and potential effects of mining on voluntarily isolated indigenous peoples. He has worked with the Ese Eja people in Peru and Bolivia and People and Plants International's Cultural Landscapes and Resource Rights Program since 2005.