I have been a very busy volunteer lately, and that is exactly how I like it. Just to recap what I have been up to and the newest developments...
- I am doing English pronunciation classes with a local school.
- I am working with the local municipality and health center to establish a sustainable youth center. We currently have our space and I have already begun work with the youth leaders. We had our first official event (a movie night) a few days ago. We named the center Kutiri – the native origin of the name of our town, Cutervo.
- Katie has joined me here in Peru and will be teaching English classes and helping me with my youth center. One of my counterparts at the health center wants her to help with nutrition workshops as well.
- I have a new site-mate! Her name is Kathryn and she is a special education specialist. She is going to be working on the youth center with me as well.
- I am working with another volunteer close to my town (an hour away) to create a huge job fair. We have the support of both our local governments and expect to have around 850 kids attend!
So instead of the usual long-winded story telling. I am going to just show you a ton of photos with descriptions :)
|Bird watching with the kids and a local expert, Willy Castro (how cool of a name is that?)|
|This is the Arenal (sandy area) on the mountain above our city.|
|We like to play ultimate frisbee here :) This was the first time most of these kids had even seen one.|
|My youth leaders and I at the top of Mount Ilucan.|
|Just monkeying around.|
|My kids spent a good half hour trying to catch a tadpole... without avail.|
|Katie arrived in August, a really great birthday present! We went on vacation for two weeks to...|
|I love Arequipa city and the surrounding area.|
|We went hiking in the Colca Canyon - the deepest in the world!|
|When we got back to Cutervo it was time to get to work. We finally have the new youth center! Katie and my new site-mate Katherine are helping me get it going.|
|We have three spaces in the new market.|
|The two spaces with windows are ours. We will put a library in the top one and a computer center on the bottom one.|
|Our third space is shared with the municipality and comes complete with chairs, tables, and...|
|This is one of the spaces up close.|
|... a kitchen! We are going to have sunday morning pancake breakfasts here.|
Of course, like any start up non profit, we can use your support. Right now we have 75 books and I am writing grants to two non-profits for more. I am going to be working through a DU organization to get funding for the computers and everyone here would appreciate it so so much if you could help us out when the fund raising drive gets under way. I have one more year here and I am very confident we can leave Cutervo with a self-sustaining youth center by then.
If you would like to send any materials or goodies for the center/kids, you can send it to my address in an envelope (no boxes please) weighing no more than 2 pounds.
Pasaje Yoyo Flores 180
La Familia Espejo Sanchez
Cutervo, Cajamarca, Peru
Please check us out on www.kutiri.wordpress.com and friend us on facebook. My kids will get a kick out of seeing all the support from the US. I will be updating the Kutiri blog often with our current activities and successes, so please keep checking in.
Thank you again for everything!