Mariaelena Huambachano headshot

Mariaelena Huambachano

Assistant Professor
Civil Society and Community Studies Department; Human Development and Family Studies Major
Office 4157

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

–Nelson Mandela

My current research uses a Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) lens to examine the respective “good-living philosophies” of two Indigenous communities regarding food and seed sovereignty: that of the Māori of Aotearoa–New Zealand and that of the Quechua people of Peru. A native Peruvian Indigenous scholar, I emigrated to Aotearoa at a young age, inspiring a collaborative and cross-cultural approach to my work in food and environmental justice, sustainable global development, and public policy.

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PhD, International Business, University of Auckland, New Zealand
MA, Management and International Business, Massey University, New Zealand
BA, Business Studies, Massey University, New Zealand


Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program

Recent press

Episode 25: Reclaiming Indigenous rights to food sovereignty, Water Savvy Solutions Podcast, August 20, 2020
Good living philosophies linked to indigenising food systems, KIN Knowledge in Indigenous Networks, April 14, 2020
New faculty focus: SoHE’s Brian McInnes and Mariaelena Huambachano, UW News, February 4, 2020
Panel discusses importance of food sovereignty, Badger Herald, November 12, 2019

Personal Websites

Orcid bio
Our Right to Food Security/Sovereignty research site

CSCS 345 : Evaluation and Planning

CSCS 812 : Mixed Methods in Community Research

Huambachano, Mariaelena (2018). Enacting food sovereignty in Aotearoa New Zealand and Peru: revitalizing Indigenous knowledge, food practices and ecological philosophies, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, (2) 9, 1003-102 DOI:10.1080/21683565.2018.1468380

Huambachano, Mariaelena (2015). “The Ayni Principle: An Indigenous theory of value creation, in Chellie Spiller and Rachel Wolfgramm (ed.) “Indigenous spirituality at work: Transforming the spirit of business enterprise,” Volume (5) Information Age Publishing Inc, p. 99-116.

Huambachano, Mariaelena (2012). “Business and Sustainability: The Camisea Project in the Peruvian Amazon Basin,” in Gabriel Eweje (ed.) Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Emerging Trends in Developing Economies (Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability, Volume (8) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, p.215 – 240.

Huambachano, Mariaelena (2019). Seed Sovereignty in Aotearoa New Zealand and Peru: ‘He kai kei aku ringa’—‘the food is in my hand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, special issues on Mātauranga Māori shaping ecological futures. Forthcoming Fall 2019.

Huambachano, Mariaelena (2019). “Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Indigenous Foodways in the Andes of Peru.” Review of International American Studies (RIAS). Special Issue on “Indigenous Social Movements in the Americas.” Forthcoming Fall 2019.

Find a more comprehensive list of my publications in my CV, linked above.