EMILY LUKS, co-founder and president of Kuychi Runa Association, is the founding member of Origins, a group that specializes in botanical and floral painting that aims to improve the standards and raise awareness of botanical art in all its forms. Origins held its first joint exhibition in 1999, with over 75 works. Origins exhibited in a special collection at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). As a community charity effort, Origins painted a life size moose in the botanical mode in the Toronto outdoor Moose Art Exhibition of 1999, which was subsequently sold for over $10,000.
Emily has also served as vice-chair of The Botanical Artists of Canada. She leads creativity and drawing workshops in Peru and Canada that have been extremely successful.
She worked on a project with Crayola to donate products for the Nyumbani Children’s Home in Nairobi, Kenya, an orphanage for children who are HIV positive and have no living relatives.
In 2008, Emily started a project in her native Peru in the community of Tinki, managing to encourage women weavers to form an association to be independent and develop new products. A two-story workshop space was built for weaving and dying of the yarns, in addition to a retail store to boost sales.
Today, Emily continues her work in Peru, which includes building a community library and meeting center for the children of Ccoñamuro, Cusco, and surrounding villages.
DOLLY LIZARRAGA, co-founder and vice president of Kuychi Runa Association, began her career at the United Nations in Switzerland in 1975 and retired in 2005 after working in several countries at the UN agencies: The ILO (Labor), FAO (Agriculture), WHO (Health), IOM (Migration), UNFPA (Population) and UNDP (Development), where she gained wide experience in development projects, in line with her humanitarian ideals.
After retiring from the United Nations, Dolly dedicated herself to her other passions. She has been studying and researching ancient Andean civilizations. Her work took her to China, where she gave lectures on the subject on behalf of the Andean Cosmovision Study Group of Peru.
Dolly is also trained on and has researched ancient Andean healing techniques. She has shared her knowledge through international workshops with women and men who seek this type of healing and also those who wanted to learn about them. The Kuychi Runa Center welcomes groups to learn about these techniques at workshops held in the unique, original environment where this wisdom developed.
As a Reiki Master, Dolly sees clients regularly. She has led workshops in Peru, Canada, USA, Chile, Argentina and Costa Rica. As a Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor, she currently teaches yoga and meditation in Peru.