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Kusi Kawsay: andean pedagogy

place Peru + 1 more

Knowing our andean legacy

The Kusi Kawsay Association seeks to empower the children, youth and adults of Indigenous communities in the Sacred Valley near Cusco (Peru) through the creation and support of permanent and multidisciplinary programs on Ancestral Culture, Education and preservation of the environment.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
June 2022
I believe that Kusi Kawsay is a project that inspires us to live diffently because we are not only teaching but also learning from and for all. The children and the mountains are our great teachers.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Access to education of rural communities in Peru is limited so there is a high dropout of the students in this population (50-60%).
Kusi Kawsay is a model for other indigenous communities to adopt and adapt the approach so that Indigenous children in remote communities can have a high quality education, respecting their integral being, customs, history, mythology, Cosmovision and tongue.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Kusi Kawsay uses alternative education that fuses aspects of Waldorf pedagogy, traditional Andean values and ecological sustainability to fully develop lifelong learners and citizens of the world. Our ecological ethic is a social ethic, in that we are all related, inter-related and interdependent on this existence. Taking ecological mindfulness a step further – into the realms of the heart, of truly respecting and loving the land.
Kusi Kawsay teaches all of the academic subjects, while following the Andean agrarian calendar, which honors and celebrates the local natural cosmic cycles. We provide a solid education that ensures a dignified sense of self-esteem and tools to increase economic and emotional levels of well-being. This will help children, and by extension their families and nation, to leave the marginalized state in which they live and empower them to protect their right to participate in modern society with all the richness of their culture.

How has it been spreading?

Due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the Peruvian national education system has been declared in emergency, especially in rural areas of native cultures of the Andes and the Amazon, where there is no Internet connection and no adequate devices. This situation worries Peruvian society, because it will increase the differences in access to this fundamental right of education. Kusi Kawsay has managed to strengthen its educational system based on ancestral cultural values based on "Allin Kawsay" or good living (buen vivir) combined with the content of the curriculum regulated by the State and the principles of Waldorf pedagogy. Through the “Yachay” (Learning in Quechua), we want to share our experience with communities and educational institutions located in the Andean region.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

We believe that our educational experience and adaptation to change during the pandemic can contribute to strengthening the educational system at the local and national levels. We are preparing to share our experience through the area of research and development.

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