Adapted from About Our Institution: Federation EIL – Collective Histories, edited by Alvino Fantini.
Experiment Peru is the newest member of the Experiment family. Their associate membership was approved at the General Assembly in Kobe, Japan in 2012. Their parent organization, Centro Tinku, was created in Cusco, Peru in 2003, and was modeled in large part on Director Jean-Jacques Decoster’s experience with an EIL member institution.
In the 1990s, Jean-Jacques was recruited by the SIT Graduate Institute (Federation EIL’s USA member) to serve as co-Academic Director for their college Semester Abroad program in Ecuador; which was housed in the office of EIL Ecuador.
It was there that Jean-Jacques met Anne de Alvear, the Director of EIL Ecuador, and her dedicated staff. He was impressed by their work and their rigorous pursuit of quality and with the strong coherence of the organization. This impression remained with him even after he left Quito to return to Cusco, which was his home base while conducting ethnographic research in the 1980s. After a few years working in development NGOs, he decided to create a cultural exchange institution. The concept, mission and goals of Centro Tinku–which means “encounter” in Quecha–were a reflection of his experience with EIL Ecuador.
In 2007, Jean-Jacques was invited as an Observer to Federation EIL’s General Assembly in Brazil; and soon after Centro Tinku began participating in the Federation’s Volunteers for International Partnership (VIP) program. This ultimately led to the establishment of Experiment Peru in 2012.
“Joining this network seemed like a natural step,” said Director Jean-Jacques Decoster of his decision to apply for membership to Federation EIL. “As Federation EIL‘s youngest member, we at Experiment Peru look forward to expanding our collaboration and broadening our activities within the Federation for many years to come. “
About Director Jean-Jacques Decoster of Experiment Peru: Jean-Jacques is a native of France and studied Literature at the Licence de Lettres, Universite de Lille, and Anthropology in the United States, obtaining a MA in Virginia and a PhD at Cornell University. He holds a doctorate in Social Sciences from the Universidad de San Marcos in Lima, Peru. In Cusco, he is Professor of Anthropology at the Universidad San Antonio Abad and the newly appointed Director of the Museo Machupicchu located at the Casa Concha.