Our Team

ALEXANDER WANKEL

Founder and CEO

After receiving his Undergraduate Degree in Anthropology and International Relations at Brown University, Alex wanted nothing more than to live in the Andes. Since then, he has devoted his career to supporting rural micro entrepreneurs through fair trade, capacity building, access to markets, and micro finance. As head of production for Faire Collection, Alex supervised exports from a dozen artisan groups in the coast, mountain and Amazon regions of Ecuador for large private label clients such as Anthropologie. At Awamaki, he managed grants from the US Department of State for education and capacity building programs supporting indigenous women's entrepreneurship. In 2015, he discovered the magic of Quinoa while supporting an agrobiodiversity conservation program run by Bioversity International. During many journeys into remote mountain communities, he learned about the amazing properties of rare and endangered quinoa varieties, as well as the poverty alleviating impact of responsible quinoa globalization. Not long afterwards, he decided to launch Kai Pacha Foods. In his free time he enjoys exploring the mountains, dancing to Peruvian music, and of course cebiche.

Pierina Benites Alfaro

Head of Sustainable Business Operations

Pierina studied Agricultural Economics at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina and has over 10 years of building value chains for agricultural and forestry products in Peru, having supported the organizational management of multiple producers' organizations and creating market access in the ecological and organic market sectors in Peru. She has managed projects for international organizations such as the FAO, world Wildlife Fund, ADRA International, and GIZ in areas such as food security and sustainable development. 

Daniela Schröter 

Sales Representative

Daniela received a degree in Sociology at Universität Viadrina in Germany and an International Masters in Environmental Education at IIFA in Spain. She has experience as a coordinator, environmental educator, and promotional representative of Lima Compost. She has a background in nutrition, urban agriculture, and responsible consumerism and a natural talent for community outreach.  

International Supporting Staff

LINDSEY HETHCOTE

Lindsey is currently a Masters candidate at CATIE, Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigacíon y Enseñanza, working towards her Masters in Agroforestry and Sustainable Agriculture. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Denver where she studied Environmental Studies and Business Administration. Lindsey has worked in various environmental conservation projects, as well as for numerous international development organizations including EcoAgriculture Partners in Washington DC and Awamaki, a Fair Trade NGO in rural Peru.

 

Lindsey hopes to use her experiences and her knowledge of agricultural biodiversity to make Pachakuti foods a socially responsible business that contributes to the conservation of the immense agrobiodiversity found in the Andes. In her free time, Lindsey loves to practice yoga, venture outdoors and explore as many new places as possible.

COLIN PEACOCK

Product Development and Visual Media  

Colin has spent over 5 years as a professional landscape, wildlife, and non-profit photographer. Having worked to support local farmers and conservation organizations, Pachakuti Foods seemed like a perfect fit. A graduate of Clark University, he has also worked as a conservation biologist, forest ecologist, and led backcountry research trips with undergraduate students throughout the Yukon, British Columbia, Wyoming, and Namibia. Many years ago he was also a professional chef, attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and truly enjoys nothing more than perfecting new food products that also fulfill a social justice mission.

 

Colin also builds ultralight folding boats, is a naturalist and photography guide in Juneau, Alaska, and is an Associate Instructor of Taoist Meditation and Internal Arts with the Universal Healing Tao.