Talia Morales will be your primary host during the immersion experience. Talia received her permaculture design certification in 2015 from the San Diego Sustainable Living Institute and is a composting ambassador and seed steward. She is also a Board Certified Music Therapist and holds a Master’s degree in Expressive Arts for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding, integrating intermodal art approaches to promote positive social change and community building. She is a lifelong musician, vocalist and songwriter and a Registered Yoga Teacher, RYT-200. Although Talia moved to the U.S. at a young age, her roots to the country of her birth have remained strong and she regularly returns to Peru to spend time with extended family and to reconnect with the land, which she considers to be precious and sacred. She lives in San Diego with her dog, Wayqi, which means "buddy" in Quechua.
Manuel and Elena
While Talia was living in Urubamba in 2005, her parents, Elena and Manuel Morales, made a special request for her to help them find a plot of land on which they could live out their dream of making their forever home in the Sacred Valley. Talia looked high and low and was blessed to find them a fertile 1.2-acre plot full of avocado, nectarine, plum and pear trees, native flowers and ample growing space for cultivation. Born and raised in Peru and having lived in the States for over 30 years, Elena and Manuel are deeply looking forward to the next chapter of their lives in Urubamba and being the stewards for the land on which they are building their home. It is a work in progress and a labor of love. They founded Proyecto Ecologico Rijch’ariy in 2017. Rijch'ariy, in the Quechua language of the Andes, translates to “awaken”. Ecological Project of Awakening is a working farm, Permaculture learning center, training site and home of Talia’s parents.
Gaby has been professionally guiding tours since 2000 and loves to share her vast knowledge that she has gained throughout her lifetime of passionate research. "I feel very blessed to live in the Sacred Land of Perú. The profound cultural heritage present here in Perú has been always a passion to discover for me and because of that I was visiting since quite young all the places built by the ancestors here, trying to understand and investigate what was the message they imprinted on them and the wisdom involved in their understanding of life. That opened the possibility of meeting many shamans, curanderos, investigators, scholars, who taught me a lot and to whom I feel very grateful. I have a permanent admiration and profound respect for the very high consciousness our ancestors had. Guiding became my job since 2000 but I understand it more like an opportunity to share all what I´ve learned and love.”
Justo Mantilla Holguin
Mr. Mantilla is a biologist, an Andean plant medicine expert and co-author of “Pachamama Hampi Qhoranchiskuna” of compendium of native medicinal plants found in the Sacred Valley, Cusco region. He has served as docent instructor at the Universidad Mayor de San Andres, Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco, executive coordinator for the Instituto de Ecologia y Plantas Medicinales and is an investigator for Asociación Pukllasunchis.
SPECIAL GUESTS, LOCAL EXPERTS AND PARTNERS
A legally registered Peruvian non-profit organization founded in 2008 as the first and only private/non-for-profit school for special education in Cusco, Peru. Their mission is to maximize the abilities and potential of individuals with developmental disabilities in Peru through humanistic and personalized education. Young adult learners receive vocational training by working in the 7,500 square foot Manos Unidas garden which yields fresh produce that is used in their student-run café and sold to the greater community.
Parque de la Papa
The Parque de la Papa is an organization of four communities located in the highlands of the Sacred Valley in Cusco, Peru, which work together for the preservation of agricultural biodiverisity and the retention of Indigenous culture. Approximately 6,000 community members work together to preserve the area with hundreds of varieties of native potatoes (around 1,3000) as well as the knowledge and ancient technology related to the cultivation and management of their agricultural landscape – a cornerstone of life in the area.
SAN DIEGO SEED COMPANY
San Diego Seed Company is the only urban producer of organic, heirloom seeds in Southern California which produces seeds adapted for local and regional southern California climates. Owner, Brijette Peña works with numerous organizations and educational forums to teach the importance and value of seed saving.
More special guests such as local agronomists and ceremonialists are lined up, so keep in touch on social media for more upcoming details!