Merelyn helps set up a Latin American School for Food Systems and Resilience

Two years ago, Merelyn Valdivia Díaz had the opportunity to take part in an amazing experience with other young Latin American environmental leaders. They spent 10 days in a transformative, peer-to-peer learning environment that engaged the mind, body, and all the senses. “It was a learning experience filled with spirit, a spirit of connection” …. It brought me to a point of inflection in my understanding of my work towards natural and human well-being, which led me to take on new challenges” she shares.  Now Merelyn is leading the effort to create a new academy in her home country of Peru.


The Latin-American School for Food Systems Resilience (ALLSA-Peru) creates a space and a network for Latin Americans to promote innovative processes for the sustainability and resilience of local food systems. ALLSA-Peru will be oriented in four transdisciplinary axes:

The first axis approaches the theoretic and conceptual frameworks for sustainable food systems. The second will examine socioecological tools to study and deepening our understanding of food systems. The third axis will examine participatory leadership and commitment to action, to foster creative approaches to problem-solving through innovation and dialogue among actors. The fourth, biocultural axis will reconnect with traditional knowledge and explore new epistemological approaches in our efforts to generate, to enhance and to maintain the resilience of food systems at different scales.

The 10-day school will be held in April 2019 in the Sacred Valley in Cusco (Peru), in conjunction with the communities of the Potato Park. During those days a support network of facilitators (GESA & ALLSA alumni) and mentors will provide guidance to participants, helping them in goal setting and follow up activities.

We are looking to meet youth leaders from indigenous communities, universities, and the private and public sector, who are transformative voices and actors committed to the sustainability of the food systems and the biocultural diversity associated with them. In addition, we seek qualities of leadership and diversity in terms of disciplines and action plans. Rural and indigenous youth have a direct source of experience and knowledge about the environmental crisis as well as possible solutions for adapting to climate change. However, they do not have the same opportunities to access financial funds for international study programs.

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