Cultural Rights and Development: Realities of Globalization in the Andes (25 Sep to 3 Nov 2017)

Hybrid Course (E-Learning + Field Experience in Peru)


Credit: Ashli Akins

Cultural Rights and Development: Realities of Globalization in the Andes (Sep 25, 2017 – Nov 3, 2017)

Applications now open!

Deadline May 1, 2017

The Human Rights Centre of the United Nations-mandated University for Peace, in collaboration with Mosqoy, our civil society partner, is jointly offering a unique opportunity that provides a hands-on hybrid learning experience (e-learning + field) on the linkages between cultural rights and development based on the realities of globalization in the Andes. Mosqoy is a grassroots organization that has been working for the past decade with marginalized Indigenous communities in the Cusco region of the Andean mountains of Peru.

This exciting new hybrid e-learning and field course will critically examine gender, development, and cultural rights, especially in the face of globalization and change. The course will look at the discrepancies between these rights in theory and practice, focusing on how they translate into the realities of the Quechua people.

The first 4 weeks of the course will be conducted online on the Virtual Platform of the UPEACE Human Rights Centre. This portion of the course will include an in-depth study of economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights in Latin America, highlighting cultural and development rights.

The second portion of the course will consist of a 2-week immersion field study based in Cusco, Peru, where participants will travel to remote communities of the Andean mountains to reflect upon and critically examine the implementation of development theories, as well as explore community perspectives on the fulfillment of these rights. The field portion of the course will be co-guided and co-facilitated by Mosqoy’s alumni (young Quechua professionals), and will feature guest lectures by local Quechua human rights and social justice professionals, as well as community dialogue sessions with local leaders from women-led artisan cooperatives.

Participants will have the opportunity to get off the beaten tourist tracks, visiting Indigenous weaving communities and remote populations, to engage in local dialogues regarding sustainable development, and gender, cultural, and economic rights. A component of this course will critically reflect on participants’ positionality, exploring their complex roles as consumers and travellers, and as non-neutral stakeholders in the globalization conversation. There will be opportunities during the field course for participants to actively participate as agents for change, contributing positively to innovative community-based solutions.

E-Learning Course: September 25 – October 20 (4 weeks)

Field Course: October 23 – November 3 (2 weeks)


The course is intended for staff members of civil society organizations and (inter)governmental organizations involved in the promotion of human rights, Indigenous peoples’ rights, social justice, gender and development, social inclusion, and responsible management. The course is also intended for staff members of (international) development agencies, academics, and others interested in related areas. Graduate and post-graduate students with specific research interests in these areas are also encouraged to apply. Candidates should have a good written command of English and have high computer literacy and Internet competency. All students are required to complete the field component of the course. UPEACE Human Rights Centre and Mosqoy are committed to mainstreaming rights of persons with special needs. Applicants should, however, note that the field component will require hiking to remote villages and staying in rural areas with few amenities. Participants should be reasonably physically fit and able to hike in mountainous terrain. However, with prior notice, exceptions can be accommodated for those with special needs and unable to hike but otherwise wish to participate in the field portion.


To apply, please send an email to along with your CV and a short Statement of Purpose (not more than 500 words) indicating the motivation for taking the course and related experience. Applicants will be informed of their acceptance by May 15, 2017. A limited number of seats are available, and a waiting list will be developed.


Fee for taking this certificate course: USD $3425.

Excludes airfare, personal travel insurance, airport fees. Includes online course and field portion of course, including all ground transportation, food, accommodation, and other services.

Participants are also able to take the course for two academic credits offered by UPEACE. The cost for 2 academic credits is an additional USD $500.

Proceeds from this field course directly support Mosqoy’s community-based charitable programs to promote gender equity, and educational, cultural, and development rights in the Peruvian Andes.


All payments will be made after acceptance is confirmed. Fees will be paid to Mosqoy through their Paypal system. Information regarding this process will be delivered upon receipt of acceptance.


June 1, 2017: Deposit of USD $1000

July 1, 2017: Final payment of USD $2425


As this is the pilot year of this course, we unfortunately do not have the funding to offer scholarships. However, we would like to be able to offer seats to exceptional young professionals in these fields who are economically disadvantaged and/or student-visionaries who face intersectional discrimination. Therefore, we are currently seeking sponsors who are interested in partially or fully funding a scholarship student. Please contact us at, with the subject line “Scholarship for Hybrid Peru Course” if you are interested in learning more about how to offer a scholarship to a deserving student in need.


Ashli Akins, Course Instructor

Ashli Akins is a human rights advocate, artist, and social entrepreneur. When she was 21, she founded Mosqoy, an international charitable organization that works with highland Indigenous communities of the Andean mountains in Peru to mitigate the adverse effects of unsustainable tourism and development by providing economic opportunities that nurture their threatened Indigenous culture. Mosqoy is now 11 years old and is a strong force for marginalized youth and weavers in the Cusco region. For the past decade, Ashli acted as Mosqoy’s Executive Director, and now advises the charity’s operations as President of its Board of Directors.

Ashli is one of Canada’s top doctoral candidates, ranked in the top five as a recipient of the competitive Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Her PhD in interdisciplinary studies with the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia is supervised by former National Geographic explorer-in-residence Dr. Wade Davis (Anthropology) and Dr. Kai Chan (Public Policy & Global Affairs; Institute for Resources, Environment, & Sustainability).

In 2014, Ashli graduated from the University of Oxford with a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law. She previously attended the University of Victoria, where she received a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, Latin American studies, and professional writing. She was recently honoured as one of UVic’s top 50 alumni in history who have made a difference in the world.

Ashli uses photography and writing to educate about international human rights and environmental injustices. In 2008, she completed a photography internship with National Geographic Adventure Magazine, and has published and exhibited around the world. Ashli has been honoured with dozens of awards, and has given hundreds of lectures and presentations globally, including two recent TedX talks.

Ashli has led culturally responsible and community-based tours in Peru, through Mosqoy Field School and as the Program Leader for Rustic Pathways’ Critical Issues Program, La Niña Andina, focusing on women’s rights and gender equality in the Andes. She also served as a Canadian Federation of University Women delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in 2016. Over the past decade, she has worked as a researcher and advocate for human rights in Peru, Guatemala, New Zealand, and Canada, with specific attention to Indigenous rights, intangible cultural heritage, cultural property law, gender equality, sustainable development, and resource rights.

Reanna McMillan, Course Facilitator

Reanna McMillan has a degree in anthropology and Hispanic Studies from the University of Victoria and a master’s degree in environment, development and peace with a specialization in natural resource management from the United Nations-mandated University for Peace. She has over a decade of international development experience, including fieldwork focusing on community development and social inclusion in Peru, Canada, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

Reanna has been working with Mosqoy for seven years and, during this time, has worn many hats. She acted as the T’ikary Youth Program Manager, based at its Cusco headquarters in 2010. Since, she began the preliminary development and field research to launch the Mosqoy Field School in 2014, and is currently a member-at-large on Mosqoy’s Board of Directors.

Reanna served as the Aboriginal Engagement Facilitator for Tera Environmental Consultancy, working in remote communities of northern British Columbia, where she ensured engagement with Indigenous stakeholders during environmental assessments, including documenting socioeconomic information and traditional ecological knowledge, and advocating on behalf of communities to bring concerns relating to energy resource developments.

Reanna worked at the International Affairs Department at the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock in Costa Rica, and recently as Project Officer for the Human Rights Centre of the University for Peace. She is currently working for the Ministry of Environment, in British Columbia, Canada, as a Community Resource Technologist, bridging communication between the provincial government and Indigenous and rural communities.

Find more information on Mosqoy, please visit their website at or check out their Facebook page: