A long time since the last update and so many adventures! We started our volunteer work in the local schools, working along side with teachers who look after children from 2 to 6 year old. These schools are not funded by the state and are the result of the initiative of local women and educators. They are not only trying to provide children aged 2 to 6 with an opportunity to be surrounded by a a stimulating and creative environment, but they also address basic needs such as healthy nutrition and hygiene practices. In addition, they provide psychological workshops to encourage a positive parent-child relationship as parents often implement physical punishment.
In the afternoon we work in a local secondary school where we are involved in refurbishment jobs such as painting.
Towards the end of the week we took a break from our work in Villa El Salvador and the Solydes team organised an interesting tour to the coast North of Peru. We traveled to Trujillo, an old colonial city where we visited the pre-inca city of Chan Chan and the mysterious temple of Huaca de La Luna. We learned about the civilization of the Chimu and Moche people who lived in Peru before the Incas.
The highlight of the tour was our meeting with the local fishermen and a boat ride on the Caballitos de Totora, traditional fishermen boats made of reed. The following day we headed to Chimbote, another city on the coast of Peru where we met local fishermen and students of our age and engaged in a intercultural exchange. In the evening we went to the local fiesta de San Pedrito and danced in the streets of Chimbote following the rhythm of the cumbia music.
In Chimbote we were hosted by a member of the Teresian Association, Rosa Vera, who made us feel at home once again! The Solydes team and Rosa organised another volunteer work opportunity that took us to the heart what they call “human settlements”. These settlements are the result of people escaping from the mountain or the forest regions in search for better opportunities. However, they often struggle to go beyond poverty levels. This is how Villa El Salvador was born in the 1970s and nowadays these communities are still struggling to guarantee human rights.
After such an intense immersion into the Peruvian culture and life, we are now back to our work routine in Villa El Salvador.
These days away from Villa helped us to understand how special this trip is. We are exploring the diverse reality of Peru like a diver who is plunging deeper and deeper into a vast sea. This would have not been possible without the support of the Solydes team and their contacts who have made this experience really authentic!
More pictures of all the projects to follow! Stay tuned!