Information Conferences in Andean Indigenous Communities

Local Conferences, organized by Yachay Wasi in Andean Indigenous communities, aim to inform these remote Quechua speaking communities of the Issues facing them in today’s world and of the work done on their behalf by the United Nations, including the 2007 adoption by the UN General Assembly of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

2009: The First local Conference focusing on Sacred Sites: Biodiversity and Andean Spirituality took place in the Andean village of Acopia, Province of Acomayo, Dept of Cuzco, Peru in April 2009.

It reinforced the importance of Indigenous Sacred sites, symbolic representations of the harmony of spirituality and biodiversity, and their relevance to today’s society dilemmas such as climate change and loss of biodiversity.

Attending Indigenous representatives from remote Andean villages requested follow-up conferences to be held in their respective villages.

2010: During the International Year of Biodiversity, the Second local Conference on Sacred Sites: Biodiversity and Andean Spirituality took place in the Andean village of Raqchi, Province of Canchis, Dept of Cuzco, Peru from 9 thru 11 August 2010.

In addition to the issues already discussed in 2009, the August 9 International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples was commemorated with a sacred ceremony on the first day of the Conference.

Ongoing Yachay Wasi Water and Sanitation project and Campaign of Planting native trees in Circuit of Four Lakes were also discussed. These 2 projects earned a Quote from Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme on July 2010: "The Billion Tree Campaign is delighted to partner with Yachay Wasi. This initiative will assist in conserving the health of vast fresh water lakes which support communities and wildlife alike. The economic and environmental imperative to restore lost and damaged ecosystems from forests and freshwater to mangroves and wetlands can no longer be ignored if we want growth through job generation and poverty alleviation, all of which are so needed to deliver sustainability in the 21st century."

2011: Yachay Wasi organized the Third local Conference on Sacred Sites: Biodiversity and Andean Spirituality in the Andean village of Huilloc – Ollantaytambo, Province of Urubamba, Dept of Cuzco, Peru from 25 thru 29 April 2011.

This Conference focused on Climate Change. Spiritual ceremonies were performed and school children were involved in creative activities.




. 2003

5 - 9 November 2003: Second “Encounter of Indigenous communities in the High Andes and Amazon” in the Andean village of Mosoqllacta, Peru. Main speaker for the event was Mr. Ole Henrik Magga, Sami from Norway, Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.




. 2001

17-21 June 2001: First Encounter of Indigenous Communities in the High Andes in the Andean village of Acopia near Cuzco in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights which sent a representative.

During this First Encounter, Yachay Wasi faxed a letter signed by Andean participants to UNESCO World Heritage Centre protesting the September 2000 chipping of the Intiwatana (sundial) by a falling crane during the filming of a beer commercial in Machu Picchu. As a result, Yachay Wasi was invited to participate in the UNESCO WHIPCOE Workshop in Winnipeg, Canada (5 - 8 November 2001)