Realmente muy complacida y agradecida con toda la experiencia!!
Desde que llegué a Cusco me recibieron a tiempo, con mucha amabilidad y me hicieron sentir en familia.
Después comenzaron los cursos y me abrieron mi perspectiva de la vida enormemente. Me asombró mucho entrar en un conocimiento tan evidente, armonioso y lógico pero totalmente ignorado para mí antes como es la mitología, filosofía y cosmovisión andinas!!! Y verlas sucediendo en vivo en su vida cotidiana!
Me parece súper valioso todo lo que han estado recopilando, descodificando y transmitiendo sobre los conocimientos de las culturas originarias y que aún hoy siguen manteniendo en las comunidades un gran amor y armonía dual y cuatro partida en su convivencia. Muy muy bonito entender cuáles son las cosas esenciales, revalorizar la agricultura, la reciprocidad y el respeto a todos los seres.
Y muy hermoso aprender a tejer entendiendo los tejidos como libros, como diarios personales de identidad.
Muchas gracias por toda la paciencia y apoyo, los tejidos son muy complejos, se requiere total dedicación y concentración, verlos terminados significa una alegría indescriptible!! Aprendí bastante también sobre la docencia, siendo parte de un sistema de aprendizaje muy diferente del occidental, que estimula mucho la memoria, la observación y el cerebro!! Todo se aprende practicando!!
Me encantó su país de montones de montañas pegaditas, con tantos canales de riego y construcciones prehispánicas enormes e impresionantes por todos lados!!!
Ojalá que lleguen más personas peruanas y cercanas a su realidad a revalorizar toda esa identidad y cultura que muchas veces no es valorada por tenerla tan cerca y verla como algo muy normal, hace falta cuidarla y alimentarla para que crezca y siga dando frutos!!!
Una ideología así de armoniosa con la naturaleza y los géneros nos vendría muy bien a toda la humanidad, a ver si logramos sobrevivir como especie al desastre que estamos provocando en esta época.
Artista Visual, Docente en la Universidad de Costa Rica
Estoy muy agradecida y contenta de haber optado por el programa semestral que ofrece Apulaya, vuelvo a mi país llena de nuevos aprendizajes y experiencias en relación a la cultura andina y su profunda cosmovisión. Aspectos que pude apreciar tanto en las clases teóricas y los talleres prácticos, como en las distintas fiestas y actividades comunitarias. Creo que lo más valioso es quizás, la posibilidad que brinda Apulaya para construir relaciones con las distintas comunidades, pudiendo vivenciar de manera empírica como se recrea la cultura ancestral en el cotidiano.
Mi formación en Apulaya ha constituido un aporte muy valioso también en relación a la práctica textil y las distintas expresiones artísticas, agradezco a los y las profesores que compartieron sus conocimientos en relación al arte como una práctica colectiva y su apoyo en la realización de mi investigación, que a pesar del corto tiempo para llevarla a cabo, logramos finalizar con resultados muy positivos, tanto en términos académicos como en las relaciones construidas con la comunidad Cuper en la que fue realizada.
Recomiendo el curso semestral por su multiplicidad de posibilidades para abordar los estudios de la cultura andina, creo que con el tiempo el programa irá perfeccionándose hasta cobrar mucho valor académico, ya que brinda un espacio de libertad de exploración y profundización en los contenidos de interés personal, permitiendo experimentar también con las distintas posibilidades estéticas o visuales en relación a lo antropológico y social.
Amaranta Espinoza (1988)
Artista visual y educadora chilena. Realización de cursos y talleres de arte, memoria y género en espacios como CPF San Joaquín, Liceo San Gerónimo, Escuela Calicanto, Sede vecinal población El Barrero y Escuela Santa Rita de Casia, entre otros. Ha expuesto en Museo Arte Contemporáneo, Quinta Normal (2015), Balmaceda Arte Joven Valparaíso (2014), Sala de Carga (2013), Festival Audiovisual Nuevas Realidades Video-Políticas (2012), entre otros. Realización de Curso “Estudios de la Cultura Indígena Andina” en Apulaya, Centro para la Cultura Andina, Perú. Adjudicación de FONDART Nacional (2016).
My organisation sends groups of young people from all over the world to Peru every year. We always make sure to include a day visiting Apulaya because we can’t think of a better way for them to be introduced to the rich history and culture of Peru. Our students really enjoy learning the pan-pipes (there’s always a lot of laughter!) and doing art projects.
Emerita and Valerio are always extremely generous hosts, and great teachers and they interact really well with the groups.
In addition to the art/music workshops, the Apulaya team spend a day travelling to our project site, with a remote Quechuan community in the mountains. They bring traditional clothes with them, and together with the team they do a traditional performance and ceremony at the village. This is an unbelievable experience for the students, and community too!
Thanks to Apulaya – we always know that our groups will learn about Peru from people who really know it down to its roots. That’s not an experience they could ever get from a guidebook, or as a regular tourist!
RSIS Projects Manager, England
The Apulaya center for Andean culture is an incredible resource to learn about the vernacular beliefs and lives of the people in the high mountain villages of Peru. My name is Robert Mertens; I am an artist and art educator from the United States of America.
I spent two weeks studying with Valerio, Emerita, and Apolonia. My focus was on weaving, Andean cosmology and Andean art, specifically the icons and symbols used in Andean textiles. I knew on the first day that I had arrived that this would be a life changing experience. After the first week of amazing lunches prepared by Emerita and Rosita, I peered into Apulaya’s music room. I have always loved collecting instruments and I was blown away by the array of flutes, sheep-horns, and various drums in the room. Without missing a step Valerio and Emerita started showing me the instruments and within 5 minutes I was playing a traditional folk song with Valerio! The first week was spent rotating between the three members, learning different aspects of Andean cosmology, art, and weaving techniques.
I speak only beginning level Spanish but this proved to not be a problem and I picked up the basics to backstrap weaving quickly. All of the classes were intertwined making a very holistic approach to learning about Andean culture. The space was perfectly suited for exploring new ideas, with a view of a mountain in the backyard of the center. Additionally to the classes, I feel some of the most astounding parts of the center were the conversations we had over lunch. The environment was relaxed and academic, domestic and progressive. The members of the Apulaya team are remarkably enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Andean culture. I hope to return to continue my weaving studies next summer!
Lastly, after studying all day at the center, I returned to the best hostel ever! The hostel is just down the path from the center and is owned by David Wilkinson. The rooms are spacious and even include hand built fireplaces. I wove by fire light every night! Should anyone have an interest in studying in Peru, they truly need to visit Calca and the wonderful members of the Apulaya Center for Andean Culture.
Visual Artist and Art educator
Dear Emerita and Valerio
I have been home for precisely a month now, and yet, each day I still have new discoveries in my head and heart all stemming from my magnificent trip to Peru this fall and more specifically my ‘going to school’ and ‘working/volunteering’ with you and your family at the Apulaya Center for Andean Culture.
I have been trying to look for words that would adequately describe the joy and deep thankfulness I felt whilst being in the middle of the trip and the whole experience and here at home with the wood stove going, I am still looking for the right words.
The impression of living in a different culture for 10 weeks – in a place where I was allowed to work and participate actively within so many aspects of the Peruvian culture – the back strap weaving and spinning with Apolonia (and Juana), the natural dyeworkshop with Braulia in Chinchero. Apolonia’s ribbons are placed within reach as a reminder of where the techniques I learned from her can be taken when I practise. The little weaving doll Braulia gave me is sitting underneath one of the big woven wallhangings I designed before my visit with you. Both gifts reminding me of the pleasure and diversity found in the woven world of cloth and fibre and the cultural importance of the stories that the textiles tell if you know how to read even a little bit of their ‘language’.
The historical learning aspects of the time spent with you both are still echoing in my head. It was reflected in our excursions to magnificent historical ruins and sacred places and again as we explored it through Emerita’s powerpoint presentations about the art of both Huari, Paracas and Inca cultures. The ripple effect is obvious when I think about how to design my next pieces of weaving.
Things take time – as did my learning of the Quechua language, thank you Valerio for being so patient with me – I had a most magnificent time playing with the grammar. That it was the right decision to study not only Spanish but also the local language used by the Runa Kuna was so evident when I used a Quechua word or two and saw the light in the children’s eyes during the hours of the art class volunteering I did with Emerita.
I am in awe still at the thoughtfulness you put into the planning of the lessons prepared for the kids at the school you work with and I hope that the project will be able to grow and develop for years to come. It is an asset for the kids to have this side of their lives opened up for them in the school system where it is not normally acknowledged.
As well it is a gift to the volunteer who wishes to partake in a project to delve deeper into another culture. I have come away with so much more than ‘just volunteer work-hours’ under my belt. A whole new reason for learning and studying shows its face when partaking in any of your programmes.
While I was in Peru my husband was here at home holding the fort, looking after our sheep, the dog, the horse, hens etc. His participation happened via the long emails I sent to him while I was traveling and studying and during this past month since I returned home he has marvelled at all the stories he has heard. I recounted stories and experiences incessantly for about two days when I first returned and at this point he says, that everytime we see someone who asks and wants to hear about my time with Apulaya in Peru something new and surprising is revealed to him too. The stories and experiences seem to be just about never ending.
The wonderful thing is, we are talking about returning in the not too distant future. When I come next time accompanied by my husband we will pick up where I left off on both weaving (well, perhaps I will be the only one weaving) – language, art history and music lessons so my understanding and also his can be expanded even further.
Wishing you a splendid Happy New Year, may 2013 put even more smiles on your faces than 2012 did and strengthen your knowledge that you are on the right track.
Hugs and peace
Pia Skaarer – Nielsen
Professional weaver, Nova Scotia, Canada
My 10 day course with Valerio was fantastic. I learnt so about Andean music with a focus on Zampona.
Valerio is not only a talented musician with a wealth of knowledge, he is also a wonderful teacher. Valerio was able to adapt to my style of learning and to my pace.
In addition to teaching me about different styles of Andean music and to play them and the techniques involved, he gave me an in-depth contextual understanding.
This was invaluable as I plan to return to my country and teach some of the units to my students.
United World College of
South East Asia
I participated in both the Andean art workshops and the painting-volunteering programs at Apulaya Centre this fall and it was an amazing experience!
The passion, knowledge and enthusiasm offered by Valerio and Emerita about Andean culture is unrivaled, and the passion is infectious!
Exploring the Sacred Valley archeological sites with exceptional guides, and learning about the Andean cosmo-vision is endlessly mysterious and intriguing.
When you add excellent rustic cuisine, charming hosts, colorful cultural events, making art in a fabulous studio, and volunteering with the Andean school children its adds up to an incredibly rich life experience!
Visual Artist / Educator, Canada