Our Story

main-logo

Saphichayas  was birthed in 2013 via a vision quest and in 2014 we started our projects. At first we worked in Lima, Cusco and Huaraz. Our first few projects involved working with farmers, school children and university students. In 2015 we moved our central office to Huancayo, Junin in the central Andes which is where all the work has been based out of since then. 

“Don’t follow me, I may not know how to lead you. Don’t go ahead of me, I may not want to follow you. Come by my side so we are able to walk together” – Ute Tribe

Our team

Paloma Abregú Arroyo

Founder

Paloma Abregú is Peruvian and of indigenous descent. She has spent most of her formative years in North America, in addition to living in many other countries. Her life experience has led her to cultivate many different cultural encounters. From an early age, Paloma saw the importance of community and of preserving what naturally supports us as humans: the environment and culture. Her educational experiences took her to Australia, where she completed her master’s degree in International Relations, and then to Austria, where she was awarded a scholarship for a graduate diploma in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution. Paloma’s work experience took her to Honduras, India, Nepal, Ghana and California, where she worked with communities and women’s development projects, supported the rights of young women against cultural oppression, created and led sustainable art workshops, developed and led conflict transformation workshops for Liberian refugees, provided mediation and taught permaculture with former child soldiers, as well as restorative justice and mediation programs conducted at primary and secondary schools in both Oakland and Berkeley. Based on her experiences, Paloma has noticed that one of the most important elements to improving one’s’ self-esteem is strengthening one’s’ identity. She has experienced that those who feel connected to their roots feel a sense of balance, a strong identity that allows them to value their past, their present, and respect the cultures of others. These are key elements for a healthy coexistence and something that Paloma feels committed to supporting through Saphichay.

Contact: Paloma@saphichay.org

Jhon Alan Loayza Meza

Personal técnico social

Jhon Alan Loayza Meza, considero que nuestro hogar es nuestro planeta sin fronteras ni límites, soy un profesional comprometido con la defensa y el respeto a los derechos humanos en estrecha relación con la naturaleza. Cuento con formación académica en Comunicación Social, con estudios de Maestría en Sociología en las menciones de Relaciones Comunitarias, Gestión de Conflictos y Responsabilidad Social; cuento con experiencia en trabajos con asociaciones comunales afectadas por el periodo de violencia política y desplazamiento forzado, en formulación de proyectos sociales, diseño de herramientas comunicacionales y planificación con valor público. Así mismo me desempeñe como personal técnico social en proyectos ambientales, de género, protección infantil y relacionista comunitario en instituciones estatales y privadas, poseo capacidades para trabajar en zonas de conflicto social y ambiental, con manejo de los enfoques en derechos humanos e interculturalidad transversales para el desarrollo. Me siento identificado con la misión de Saphichay porque entiendo que el único camino para detener la destrucción de la naturaleza y el daño ambiental es a través de la valoración y defensa del patrimonio vivo material e inmaterial del Perú y del mundo.

Contacto: RedAway@Saphichay.org

Jackely Bejarano Rojas

Talpunanchicñam Teacher

Agricultural engineer by profession, with experience in developing public and private investment projects, productive projects, working as a financial technical coordinator of the Innovations Project to increase the production of palm cultivation of the Association of Agricultural Producers – Valle San Fernando – Acobamba – APAVSFA , co-financed by PNIA and the World Bank, as Supervisor of the Project “Improvement of the Productive Capacities of Avocado Producers with Focus on Agricultural Risks Quichuas District -Tayacaja- Huancavelica, fupi responsible for the nutrition area within the framework of the” Agrobiodivesity “project and nutrition for the food security of the Chopcca – Huancavelica communities ”, develop research and agricultural extension activities in the project“ Native Potatoes: A potential of high added value for sustainable agriculture ”in the provinces of Huancayo (Quilcas) and Huancavelica (Yauli and Paucará).

Contact: talpunanchicnam@gmail.com  

Natalí Castro Santiváñez

Administrator & Program Coordinator

Natalí Castro is Huancaína, entrepreneur, designer. Lic. In Administration. Business advisor. With Master’s degrees in Tourism Management and Consulting with Specialization in Sustainable Tourism and Management of Natural Protected Areas. Founder and CEO of Culturaecology and APedido. Host of Ideas for your Company at Aderezo Radio. Lecturer.

Contact: Admin@saphichay.org

Board Members

Lourdes Inga

President

Lourdes Inga has several years of experience in philanthropy serving foundations and nonprofit organizations with social change missions.  Lourdes is currently Interim Executive Director at International Funders for Indigenous Peoples a global donor affinity groups dedicated to Indigenous peoples.  She was previously with The Christensen Fund, a private foundation focused on biocultural diversity, and before that with The Global Fund for Women, a public foundation working on women’s rights.  She has served in multiple board and advisory roles including as board member of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples and as founding Board Member of EDGE Funders Alliance, an affinity group addressing global social change philanthropy.

Lourdes is committed to using her expertise to facilitate and promote thoughtful and responsible international philanthropy. She is an advocate for social change philanthropy and advancing gender equity, indigenous rights and the environment.  

Paloma Abregú Arroyo

Founder & Executive Director

Paloma Abregú is Peruvian and of indigenous descent. She has spent most of her formative years in North America, in addition to living in many other countries. Her life experience has led her to cultivate many different cultural encounters. From an early age, Paloma saw the importance of community and of preserving what naturally supports us as humans: the environment and culture. Her educational experiences took her to Australia, where she completed her master’s degree in International Relations, and then to Austria, where she was awarded a scholarship for a graduate diploma in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution. Paloma’s work experience took her to Honduras, India, Nepal, Ghana and California, where she worked with communities and women’s development projects, supported the rights of young women against cultural oppression, created and led sustainable art workshops, developed and led conflict transformation workshops for Liberian refugees, provided mediation and taught permaculture with former child soldiers, as well as restorative justice and mediation programs conducted at primary and secondary schools in both Oakland and Berkeley. Based on her experiences, Paloma has noticed that one of the most important elements to improving one’s’ self-esteem is strengthening one’s’ identity. She has experienced that those who feel connected to their roots feel a sense of balance, a strong identity that allows them to value their past, their present, and respect the cultures of others. These are key elements for a healthy coexistence and something that Paloma feels committed to supporting through Saphichay.

Contact: Paloma@saphichay.org

Kazoo

Secretary

Kazoo is a singer, song-writer, and instrumentalist who blends social activism into every aspect of her work and life. With a style that resists categorization, she sings songs that will get you thinking, crying, or motivated to action. Vocally she is robust, varied, and playful with her wide range. Instrumentally she collaborates with many artists, and leads most songs on rhythm guitar. Self-employed as an artist and screen printer, she uses her talents to support causes for empowering others, protecting the environment, and social justice. In 2010 she founded the Feminist Screen Printing Coop, Art Bison Design Coop in San Francisco, CA.

Isabel Hawkins

I am Isabel Hawkins, a bilingual and bicultural native of Córdoba, Argentina. With my husband of 39 years, John Hawkins, I live in Lafayette, California, USA. We have two beloved daughters, Elizabeth and Mary Ellen. I received my Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1986. My work focuses on collaborating with integrity with indigenous knowledge holders and western scientists to broaden access to science and enhancing participation by all communities through the appreciation of the cultural roots of science. I worked for 20 years at the University of California at Berkeley as a Senior Fellow on several NASA satellite projects and as the Director of Science Education at the Space Sciences Laboratory. Currently, I am Astronomer & Project Director at the San Francisco Exploratorium, and Faculty and Senior Advisor of the Indigenous Education Institute, Friday Harbor, WA. I joined the Friends of Chaco Board in 2009 to contribute to the stewardship of the Ancestral Pueblo site Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico. In 2005, I hosted a live, trilingual (Spanish, English, Yucatec Maya) webcast from Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, México, during the March Equinox, and was executive producer of the award winning books for the general public titled Traditions of the Sun, on the astronomy at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico and at several Maya archaeological sites in the Yucatán. Since 2011, I have served as co-coordinator (in partnership with Dr. Shelly Valdez of Laguna Pueblo) of the Yakanal Indigenous Youth Cultural Exchange Program with the goal of strengthening indigenous youth leadership and cultural identity. I am grateful to have received eight NASA awards between 2004 and 2008 for my work on NASA education and public outreach. In 2009, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific awarded me the Klumpke-Roberts Award in recognition of “outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.”

Whitney Tatum
In 2014, Whitney left the U.S. to join the Peace Corps (a 2 year volunteer U.S. government service). Stationed in a small indigenous community in the jungles of Panama, Whitney worked with the Ngäbe on their cacao production and income generation. After her two years of service, she extended a 3rd to be the National Small Business Coordinator, where she traveled around Panama working with small organizations to help incorporate and train their groups. Through her time in Panama, Whitney started working with a U.S. nonprofit, GeoParadise, who puts on an international indigenous gathering each year. Whitney became GeoParadise’s Tribal Coordinator for the gathering, Tribal Gathering, as well as their sustainable Projects Manager. For over 3 years Whitney helped to grow Tribal Gathering from 20 indigenous tribes to 60 and worked with different indigenous communities with their sustainable projects. 
Recently, Whitney started her own nonprofit, Su Cultura, which focuses on cultural preservation through the use of technology and funding community led grass roots movements. Working with many native and indigenous communities in Central and South America, Whitney has a passion for helping however she can.

Kinari Webb

Kinari Webb is the founder of Health In Harmony (www.healthinharmony.org), a non-profit organization that combines human and environmental health in Borneo Indonesia. She firmly believes in the power of radical listening: listening to communities to determine the best solutions to any challenge. Kinari is delighted to be a member of the Saphichay council and strongly believes in the importance of decolonization work, food sovereignty, and the revitalization of indigenous languages and cultures. Kinari was trained as a doctor at Yale Medical School and is a fellow Ashoka and fellow social worker Rainer Arnhold.