Peru: Indigenous Peoples and Globalization

Faculty and Staff

Alex Alvarez, PhD, Academic Director

Alex Alvarez, PhD, Academic Director
A native to Cusco, Dr. Alex Alvarez received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the National University of Cusco, 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 Research North-South in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Russell E. Train Education for Nature program with the World Wildlife Fund. He also received the Legs Lelong grant for social anthropology research from the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in France.

Alex became interested at an early age in studying indigenous peoples 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 of Cusco. She has worked for years in the field of alternative cross-cultural education with teenagers, focusing on environmental education. She specializes in interpersonal relations training with adults and young leaders, as well as massive social communication campaigns that strive for respectful improvement of certain matters in rural communities. As a journalist, she worked at the newspaper El Comercio and the magazine Somos in Lima. She has also hosted a radio program in Cusco Como en casa. In addition, she has acted in several plays, a TV 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.

Adela Margarita Da Silva, Iquitos Regional Coordinator
Adela Margarita Da Silva Arirama studied education with an emphasis on biology at the National University of the Peruvian Amazon. She lives in Iquitos, and her work has taken her to many cities, villages, and native communities in the Peruvian jungle. She has worked for nine years on environmental issues at Peru’s Ministry of Education. She is currently in charge of the Public Use of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve program; she has contributed to the program’s tourist and recreational plan, as well as its education-communication plan aimed at local populations. The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is the largest reserve in Peru.

In consultation with the academic director, Margarita coordinates the program’s excursions in Iquitos and Pacaya Samiria Reserve, and assists students who choose to focus on this region for their Independent Study Projects.

Ursula Medina, Program Assistant
Ursula Medina has worked with SIT since 2009. She studied systems engineering at the Catolica Santa Maria University of Arequipa as well as language and literature at the Garcilazo de la Vega University of Lima.  She has extensive experience teaching Spanish to foreigners (adults, teenagers, and children) in Cusco, and has also coordinated Spanish and English programs at local schools in Cusco. She speaks English and Italian fluently, as well as French, Japanese, and Quechua conversationally. She coordinates the program’s homestay component and is responsible for logistics related to site visits and excursions, as well as other administrative tasks. 

Aníbal Berdejo Mendiguri, Colca Regional Coordinator
Aníbal Berdejo Mendiguri is a biologist with a special interest in native Andean birds. Currently, his primary objective is to help the Colca community create a role for itself in the tourism industry that complements traditional activities. Key themes considered in his work include: using tourism as a tool to fortify local identity, creating a balance between tourism and the environment, and galvanizing local attention for opportunities in rural tourism development. Aníbal's commitment has evolved through his work as a tour guide.

In consultation with the academic director, Aníbal oversees the coordination of the field-based portion of the seminars in the Colca Valley.

Costs Dates

Credits: 17

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Cuzco

Language Study: Quechua,  Spanish

Prerequisites: 4 semesters Spanish


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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