Our Story

Hannah Rae Porst’s work in Q’eros began in 2010 when she lived among its people while researching the intersection of indigenous culture and global development. During a community dinner on the eve of her departure she asked village parents how she could thank them for their hospitality.

There was initial talk about soccer shoes, but what they really needed, they told her, was a school.

A Kathryn Davis Peace Prize winner as a senior in college, working with the Q’eros people Hannah raised funds for, founded and built the first primary school in the village of Ch’allmachimpana. She moved to Cusco in 2011 to continue her work there.

In 2012, Hannah founded a legal Peruvian NGO called Willka Yachay (Quechua for sacred wisdom) to develop education that enables young Q’eros to know their history and rights, avoid exploitation, build meaningful lives and develop their communities.

Hannah is inspired by the Q’eros people. She adores the little kids and teenagers and respects and admires them and their parents for the love, warmth, perseverance, humor and integrity with which they confront the adversity of their daily lives.

Despite harsh conditions, the Q’eros people endure. Willka Yachay’s goal is to help them thrive and share their wisdom.

Read a letter from our Director

Our Team

  • Hannah Rae Porst

    Founder & Director

  • Dr. Holly Wissler

    Music Preservation Specialist

  • Sebastian Flores

    Teacher, Medicinal Plant & Cultural Studies

  • Alicia Chura

    Teacher, Textiles

  • Faustino Machacca

    Teacher, Textiles

  • Gabino Alendez Carrion

    Head Schoolteacher

  • Fredy Machacca Flores

    Teacher, Cultural Studies

  • Dionicio Machacca

    President, Kusi Qoyllur Primary School

  • Juan Machacca

    President, Ima Sumaq Prechool

  • Anselmo Machacca

    President, Colegio Etnico High school & Adult School

  • Juan Sonqo

    President, Inkari Primary School

  • Jorge Machacca

    Construction Head

  • Valerio Cruz

    Construction Head

  • Patrick Tolosky

    Health Center Development

  • John Cohen


  • Jon Rasmussen


  • Richard & Nancy Porst

    Communication & Operations

  • Jake Zien

    Design Director

Expedition Team

  • Lorenzo Flores

  • Saul Flores

  • Alejandro Ordoñez

  • Milton Machacca

  • Modesto Machacca

  • Gloria Chura Apaza

Our Allies & Supporters

  • Give a Hand Foundation

  • Kidnected World

  • Friends of Indreni

  • Projects for Peace

  • Charity Challenge

  • Inka Green Energy Peru

  • Soldiers to Summits

  • Wiraqocha Foundation

  • Institute of Energy Medicine

  • Municipalidad de Paucartambo

  • Kenosis Spirit Keepers

  • UGEL Paucartambo — Ministerio de Educación

  • Almayuda Foundation

  • NUNA Journeys of Spirit

  • This is the Wanderlust