Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 5-10-2017


This thesis illustrates the active participation of Indigenous children in the creation of space intersecting across multiple scales. I engaged with critical decolonial theories to create a community based participatory process with eleven bilingual Quechua-Spanish children in Paru Paru, Peru. My methodology focuses on the desires of the community, concentrating on their lived experiences and honoring the community’s challenges and resiliency. This research and knowledge belong to the community. Through small group and observation methods, these young participants demonstrated two desires; First, they want to remain connected to their lands and cosmology; next, they wish to receive the benefits from an increasingly globalized world. They expressed great joy sharing their linguistic and cultural heritage connecting them to each other, and to the history of the Urubamba Valley. Children in Paru Paru participate in important labor processes, helping their families, strengthening communal bonds, and creating shifting spaces in their many places. Work in Andean communities shapes place and space, as communities act with and on the land. My participants conceptualize their home through the actions they perform. Spatial creation defines place, and place defines how children create space. Children also jump multiple scales, participating in global, regional, and local processes. The social and spatial practices of Paru Paru do not end when community members leave its political boundaries. Paru Paru’s spaces and cosmology appear in urban areas like Pisac, Cusco, and Arequipa. The intersections of place and space in Paru Paru demonstrate children’s desires and active engagement with their cosmovision.

Project Sponsors

University of New Mexico Latin American & Iberian Studies & Tinker Foundation (Field Research Grant); University of New Mexico Office of Graduate Studies (Roger's Research Award

Document Type


Degree Name

Community and Regional Planning

Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Claudia Isaac

Second Committee Member

Laura Harjo

Third Committee Member

Elizabeth Huchison


I could not select my Second Degree: Latin American Studies. (It only offers second degrees in SA+P).


Decolonial methodology, children, Quechua, Community Planning, Indigenous Knowledge, Place and Space