Andrea Heckman has a PhD in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico, with a focus on Anthropology and Art History. She is one of our most beloved leaders and has traveled and guided in Peru since 1978. In 1996, Andrea spent a year in Peru on a Fulbright Fellowship. “My dissertation research on textiles and their active use in rituals and everyday life was centered on Peru’s Ausangate region, so I love taking trip members there, but I deeply enjoy all Andean treks and cultural journeys. I want trip members to gain a deep respect for the rich heritage that the indigenous people of the Andes have inherited from their ancestors. I would hope that trip members fall in love with Peru, her land, people, llamas and alpacas, textiles and rituals, and leave with a sense that their hearts have been opened through their experiences here.” Andrea lives and teaches in Taos, New Mexico, and speaks Spanish as well as the Quechua language. She is also a widely exhibited weaver and her book Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals won a national book award.
Andrea's knowledge of the Inca people and their history and the trail and surrounding areas and Peru in general is simply outstanding and impressive and enriched the trip immensely.
I cannot say enough great things about Andrea as a person, and a trip leader. Always friendly, engaging, accommodating, and a real joy to be around. She is deeply rooted in the culture and study of the area, and has both personal and professional connections that really set this trip apart. I would be interested in any trip she leads, and highly recommend her to others as a trip leader, organizer, teacher, and friend.
Andrea's superb knowledge of the current and past Peruvian culture, history, landscape, etc. and her deep connection to the Peruvian people added so much to the trip. Plus, she knows all the best resturants and dishes in Cusco! We had so much fun with her.
Andrea made our trip from Day 1. She was knowledgeable, caring, and personable, and her excitement for her work was contagious. I learned so much from her, and she really immersed us in the Inca culture. She rose to every request and mastered it! A truly inspirational, incredible person!
Andrea went above and beyond to make our trip a fantastic experience.
Loved her gracious smile, calmness, her total dedication and passion in sharing her love of Peruvian culture and history.
We were very fortunate to have Andrea for our guide. Her knowledge of Peru and the people made the entire trip absolutely magical and fun! I would travel with her anywhere in the world.
Andrea MADE the trip. She has such a strong cultural awareness, historical background, and comprehensive understanding of Peru, there wasn't a question we could ask that she couldn't answer. She was also incredibly upbeat and had an almost child-like enthusiasm about the Incas. She made the trip a delightful and adventurous discover, and provided a wonderful array of experiences, including a blessing by an authentic shaman.
Wow—how can I say enough about how fabulous Andrea was? Her passions for Peru, its art, and the indigenous peoples were contagious. It was hard not to fall in love with the place when given the opportunity to see it through her eyes. Her knowledge, caring, kindness, and energy were all extraordinary.
Andrea was the epitome of professionalism, friendliness, and calm, and was a font of knowledge.
Andrea made what was a wonderful trip that much better with her knowledge and information.
We would go anywhere with Andrea! Her knowledge and sensitivity toward the people, and her charm and love for food made the trip that much more special.
Andrea was WONDEFRUL! An exceptional person in all ways!
Andrea was great! Her knowledge of weaving and her relationships with the local people made the trip special. She did a masterful job of making sure that each of us had a great time.
Andrea is an outstanding trip leader. Her constant smile, warm ways and incredible knowledge of the country were a big part of making the trip so special. We felt like we got an insider's look at Peru.
Andrea was great. Organized and in control of everything. Her smile and positive attitude was key to our successful trip!
Andrea is exceptional. Her knowledge and relationship with the local people makes you feel like you have been granted personal access to their lives. I learned a lot and was inspired by Andrea’s balance of intelligence, adventure, humor and kindness.
Andrea is the best! Not only is she knowledgeable and passionate about Peru, but she is also patient, cheerful and reassuring. She made the trip!
Andrea Heckman was outstanding. Knowledgeable about Inca culture, current Quechua culture, textiles, folklore, flora and fauna. She communicates well.