Apulaya - Center for Andean Culture

Apulaya - Center for Andean Culture


Access the indigenous Science, Art and Philosophy of the Andean Civilizations

Apulaya – Center for Andean Culture is the first educational center where Andean indigenous culture is taught in a very innovative and creative way. Our success is based on the combination of high academic level and fascinating live experiences. Studying at Apulaya is a must for all students who are looking for the best updated information on Andean civilizations; for those who want to be in real and direct contact with Andean culture, while learning from indigenous teachers and specialists who are majority in our team. Also one of our program´s important goals is to prioritize students´ individual interests and needs. This is gained through the special and very flexible teaching model applied at Apulaya, that includes indigenous way of knowing and learning. We offer academic programs, semester studies, courses and seminars.



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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Valerio Fernandez

What position do you hold at Apulaya and what has been your career path?

As co-Founder of Apulaya, I also am the co–Director and Andean Music Teacher. I graduated from the “Instituto de Música” in Cusco, Peru. In addition, I also studied Jazz in Switzerland, at the “Musik Hochschule, Fakultät III”. Once I returned back to Peru, I started to research, collect and develop Andean indigenous music and its anthropological background.

Did YOU study abroad?!

I went to study in Switzerland, because I wanted to learn Jazz and improvisation, as well as to get immersed into the Western culture. Thanks to that great experience, I began to understand how different the Andean cultures and their values are, as it opened my eyes to the fact that indigenous culture is not sufficiently taught, in Peru and abroad, and that its great wealth and diversity should be developed and transmitted to as many people as possible.

What does the future hold for Apulaya - Any exciting new programs to share?

As a cultural center specialized in Andean indigenous cultures, Apulaya is continuously working on promoting and developing new ideas, projects and activities. So, our new proposals consist in semester study programs for university students, in the aim of introducing students from other cultures, to Andean indigenous cultures, in a most sincere and appropriate way, so that they might be able to successfully complete research projects with the respective sensitivity to Andean indigenous cultures. In return, those research projects will provide us with new insights and approaches, to continue developing indigenous issues and related programs.

How do you think study abroad and international education will change?

With the globalization process on its way, and ever expanding student exchange and volunteer work programs, on an international scale, I think it will definitively increase in years to come.

Which study abroad destination is most underrated, or perhaps overrated?

It seems to me that the most overrated destinations are Europe and Asia, in comparison with South America and Africa, for example. Now, in terms of underrated (independent of destinations), it is the indigenous issues in their true reality, which are left way behind. However, it is interesting to see that, recently, public interest in indigenous cultures is increasing. But, there is still a lack of sufficient recognition, based on real understanding, of indigenous culture, philosophy and knowledge, as most people talk about indigenous nations and cultures, mainly seeing them as poor or underdeveloped, and say that they must be helped. But, how about changing positions and roles, considering that foreigners could also learn much from them?