Peru: Tarcila Rivera Zea
Tarcila Rivera Zea is Executive Director of Chirapaq, our program partner in Peru. Tarcila is a Quechuan activist from Ayacucho, Peru who has devoted over 20 years of her life to defend and seek recognition and acknowledgment of Peruvian indigenous peoples and cultures.
Her contributions have resulted in the creation of the Permanent Workshop of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women of Peru, the International Forum of Indigenous Women of the Americas and the Continental Link of Indigenous Women of the Americas. She has served as a resource person to the NGO Committee on Indigenous Rights, and has participated in forums in Nairobi, Cairo, Beijing, Durban and in the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples.
As a child Ms. Rivera became a domestic worker in exchange for education, learning Spanish only at age 18. She founded Chirapaq, in 1985, initially to help Quechua children whose parents had been murdered by Shining Path guerillas. She has led Chirapaq to become a leading agency for the rights of indigenous women.