Valerio Fernández, Musician – Flutist and Quenist

valerio_fernandezValerio has graduated from Cusco´s Leandro Alviña Miranda Superior Music Institute, in the traverse flute specialty. He also studied at the Jazz Faculty of the Music Superior School, in Switzerland.

Born in a very traditional community, Valerio grew amidst equally very traditional ways of life and customs. His native language is Quechua, but he also fluently speaks Spanish, German and English. As a quena and zampoña player, he cofounded groups such as Armonía Andina and Totem (Fusion Rock), with which he produced several CDs. His labor as a music teacher is enhanced by diverse recitals and concerts.

As cofounder and member of Apulaya´s team, Valerio imparts the Andean music and cosmo-vision workshops.

Emerita Bucher, Teacher and Artist


Graduated as a teacher, in Switzerland, in her second career, she specialized in sculpture on stone.

Fascinated by pre-Incan cultures such as the Paracas and Mochica, Emerita creates sculptures, paintings and mosaics, in the aim of fomenting the rebirth of these ancient cultures, in Peru´s current context. Between 1994 and 2004, she worked as a teacher in several educational centers, in elementary and high school levels, in Switzerland. At the same time, she was part of documentary movie projects, with social and cultural focus. Since 2006, she has been researching and collecting data in the area of pre-Colombian art and cosmology, and especially of the Mochica, Paracas and Huari cultures, comparing them with the present live Andean culture. She fluently speaks German and Spanish, and has good dominion of English, French and Italian.

As co-founder of Apulaya, Emerita imparts the pre-Colombian art and cosmo-vision workshops.

Dr. Holly Wissler, ethnomusicologist and flutist


She holds a dual masters degree from University of Idaho in Flute Performance and Music History. She received her Ph.D. from Florida State University in ethnomusicology. Since 2003 she has conducted research and participated in the indigenous musical rituals of the Quechua community of Q’eros. Her most recent research has focused on the lowland Queros Wachiperi community culture and music. She is the producer of two documentaries on Andean indigenous culture.

Besides English, Holly fluently speaks Spanish and Quechua, and as a member of Apulaya, she offers conferences and shows her documentary movies to our participants.

Apolonia Coronel – Resident teacher


The community of Pataqueña, in Chumbivilcas, is the place where Apolonia spent most of her life. Since a very early age, she learned the elaboration procedures of weaving materials, and pallay (Pick-up) techniques, such as those used for knots and braids. Regarding the pallay technique, Apolonia applies it, as much in complementary warp weavings, as in supplementary warp designs.

Her knowledge also includes the thread´s whole elaboration process, from the shearing of the wool, to when the thread is ready to be woven.

For several years, she has been teaching weaving in our center, so she has developed a considerable didactic and educational methodology, for all levels, together with a valuable intercultural experience.

Lic. Hanny Fernández, Anthropologist


She was born into an Andean farming family and was raised in highland traditions and customs.

She always felt attracted by the myths and rituals practiced in this environment.Hanny received her anthropology degree from San Antonio Abad university of Cusco, with her thesis focusing on the causes and effects of the convertion of catholics to Evanlical Baptist in the community of Toccoccori, Canas Cusco province.Currently she is researching about religious phenomenon in the Andes .

Within the Apulaya team, Hanny orients and supports anthropological topics.

Pedro Mendoza, Weaver and Agro-herder

pedroPedro is from the community of Accha Alta, situated on the heights, above the village of Calca. As a specialist in several “pallay” and traditional loom techniques, used in the Sacred Valley of the Incas´ area, Pedro belongs to a weavers´ association, in Accha Alta. In his community, Pedro also holds the title of Varayoq (Traditional authority), in charge of taking care of the ritual calendar and its celebrations, along with the secondary varayoqs and their counselors.

In Apulaya, Pedro is a weaving teacher in pick-up loom and “chullo” (Wool hat) weaving, with the Andean point and “kharka” techniques. He also tutors the natural dyeing workshops.

Aydee Torres, Designer and Artist

aydee-torresBorn in the city of Cusco, Aydee studied piano at the Instituto Superior de Música Leandro Alviña Miranda, in Cusco. She also graduated from Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes in Cusco, and studied Computerized Graphic Design at Cusco´s San Antonio Abad National University, obtaining a scholarship for cinematographic studies in the Amauta Project of Cusco´s Centro de Estudios Andinos Bartolomé de las Casas.

Then, Aydee is specialized in Fashion Design and Jewelry, launching “GAD TREND”, her own registered brand name, and participated in several art exhibitions, installations, concerts and art performances, on a national level. In 2004, she was selected for the “Perú Moda” International Fashion Catwalk, in Lima. In addition, she developed research work on “The Sound of Color”. In the field of metallurgy, she developed her own metal textile technique, and experimented with recycled materials, as well as with textures and qualities of materials. At Apulaya, Aydee teaches in the Contemporaneous Andean Textile Production Area, and tutors our students, in the development of an independent fashion collection.

Modesto Fernández, Agro-herder and Paqo (Specialist in Andean religious practices)

modestoQorilazo (Qori Rasu) is the denomination given to the inhabitants of the region of Chumbivilcas, in the Department of Cusco, known for their ritual battles and combats, groups of “ayarachis”, perky dances and magical carnival celebrations which are part of their own rich culture. Modesto comes from there, and his specialty is the Andean religious system. As “Paqo” or Andean Priest, he is depositary of that live culture, and our spiritual advisor, who performs the ceremonies which correspond to the Andean ritual calendar.

Apart from his specialty in Andean religion, Modesto is a farmer and herder, as well. According to the kind of program, in Apulaya, our participants receive also an introduction in Andean agriculture and ecology, tutored by him.

Paola Flores, Weaver and Agro-herder

paolaPaola is an excellent weaver. As a member of her community´s weavers´ association, Paola won several weavers´ contests, organized by different local institutions. One of them was the weavers´ competition organized by the Municipality of Lamay, in the Incas´ Sacred Valley, in which Paola´s textile works occupied first place, for their quality and iconographic complexity.

In Apulaya, Paola is a weaving technique teacher, for our participants.

Alicia Layme, Weaver and Agro-herder

aliciaAlicia comes from the community of Accha Alta, and is Paola´s daughter. She started to weave when she was seven, as she proceeds from a family of excellent weavers, in her community. Alicia is a Master in her region´s different pallay (Pick-up) techniques, as well as in the Andean point and kharka techniques.

Especially, in case of group teaching sessions, Alicia helps us, imparting weaving and natural dyeing lessons.

Lic. Dino Florez, Official Tour Guide specialized in Archeo-Astronomy


Graduate from Cusco´s San Antonio Abad University, Dino also is member of Peru´s Colegio de licenciados de Turismo (Colitur), in Cusco. His fascination is centered on history and astronomy, especially, when related to Incan architectural complexes. Therefore, he specialized in the research of Incan sanctuaries, in the archaeo- astronomical context.

Apart from guiding tours focused on archaeo-astronomy, Dino gives conferences on his research.