Peru's Challenge (http://www.peruschallenge.com/) is an organization founded by Australian Jane Gavel and Peruvian Selvy Ugaz. They were in their early 20s when they met and fell in love in Cusco. At just 22 and 23 years of age, they had a vision of how they could help some of the poorer communities high in the hills above Cusco.
|A rare moment - Jane and Selvy sitting down together at Pumamarca|
The community decides (with the help of Peru's Challenge) what it needs and how the organization can help. The community is then in charge of providing some portion (be it materials or labour) of the project with Peru's Challenge supplementing where it makes the most sense. For example, when we arrived we were told that we would be helping to build a fourth greenhouse up at the school. As the weeks wore on, however, the greenhouse site remained unchanged. We soon learned that the community had been unable to make enough adobe bricks that they were meant to provide for the project. Another meeting was held just last week and everyone decided that indeed a green house was very important and if they could quickly make enough adobe bricks, there may be time before the rainy season really kicks in to build the greenhouse (with the help of the volunteers).
In the picture below notice the site for the new greenhouse on the left and on the right, the most recent greenhouse that had no roof when we arrived. (it does now!!)
We were able to help put the roof back on one of
|The women in the community of|
Quilla Huata working on art and
crafts in their weekly Tallaries class.
|The results of their work in Tallaries are on display at the|
Pumamarca school site where volunteers and tour groups
come up to purchase some items and tour the school.
As you may surmise, I am incredibly impressed by this organization and both Jane and Selvy. Those of you who know me well know that I am not one to idolize people and I rarely become "star-struck",.... I think I'm in love! They are down-to-earth, kind, fun and incredibly dedicated individuals who, by the way, are also raising a lovely little boy Tomasito! Amazing!!
A fellow volunteer and new friend of ours has 2 very detailed and well written postings on her blog if you're interested in more information about Peru's Challenge:
|The grade 1/2 class, with the help of the director of the school, greeted us|
with a song on our first visit to Pumamarca.