Alison Guzman

Country Program Co-Director
MAPLE Microdevelopment Chile
Mapuche ancestral lands


M.A. Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs; Concentration: Indigenous Rights and Social Justice, American University
B.A. International Studies; School of International Service, American University
Professional Certificate: Museum Studies; Institute of American Indian Arts

Research Interests

Currently, I am the Country Program Co-Director of MAPLE Microdevelopment Chile, jointly with my partner Ignacio Krell.  As the co-director of a team based in Wallmapu (Mapuche Ancestral lands), our effort is to apply decolonizing methodologies, where indigenous local knowledge and local wisdom-based systems are prioritized to enhance an integral part of co-designing community asset-management tools, including the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo/Kelluwun. As a team, we are developing collaborative approaches to document, record, and share knowledge generated from this extensive process of co-designing community economic tools. I also manage our program´s international collaborative efforts while developing sustainable community-to-community philanthropy. 

In my experience,  I have learned of the importance of trial and error and realize that no model is perfect, just as long as there is a willingness to improve and respect community cultural protocols and traditional authorities. In the museum studies field, I am researching global native-led methodologies for cultural management and cultural spaces/museums in the digital age. My current research interests include the role of inventory in community asset management, identifying and measuring biocultural indicators and heritage, the role of cultural spaces and indigenous-led museums,  and exploring cataloguing and cultural management methodologies for the development of indigenous cultural heritage within the context of indigenous commons. 

I am also the Director of Development at the MHz Foundation leading fundraising initiatives for MHz Foundation’s mission is to bring global culture and perspective to the world via digital programming at Opening Cultures Together, Publishing materials found in the Creative Commons and public domain, Curationist is an ecosystem for framing the world we share.