Monday, September 27, 2010

The school at Monte Hermoso – Part II

I realize this is the third post on Monte Hermoso and the second about the school, but Thursday, September 23rd was a special day for a couple of reasons. First, we were able to take part in Jorge Châvez Dartnel’s 25th anniversary celebration. I think there were about 300 kids from Monte Hermoso and the surrounding schools plus some 100 parents…mostly moms.

Dancing is usually a part of any celebration. A group of primary students in colorful costume started the program by dancing the Saya. Speeches from several local officials took up the next half-hour, following which a pair of secondary students danced the marinara. Peruvians revere the marinara with a feeling that seems to go beyond the dance itself. I don’t share that feeling, but I will say that watching 12 year old Carlos dance was inspirational. This kid has been dancing for 6 years and is just plain good for any age. I hope he keeps at it.

Mothers were busy cooking lunch to feed the huge crowd while fathers did the serving. First up was ceviche (I surreptitiously handed my plate to one of the kids who quickly wolfed it down) followed by a heaping plate of goat, beans and rice known as ‘cabrito’. It’s one of my favorite meals. In these remote village settings it’s even more delicious. Somehow food tastes better when it’s been cooked in these conditions and warmly given by people who don’t have that much to give, if that makes sense.

Another reason it was a special day is because we had the pleasure and privilege of delivering shelves, tools and materials needed to ramp up the student’s carved and painted gourd manufacturing enterprise. It’s interesting how that came about.

Last May while visiting our friends Ray and Rose Harris in California they mentioned wanting to help needy Peruvian families, schools, and clinics in some organized fashion. We had several discussions, including Maribel and I agreeing to be members of whatever organization might take shape, but life has other demands and upon our return to Peru the subject was put on the back burner by them and all but forgotten by me. Shortly after posting the initial story about the school I got a phone call from Ray saying the project looked interesting and that maybe it was time to forge ahead with the charitable organization we’d talked about. That sounded like a good idea, so Maribel and I spoke with some folks in Chiclayo while Ray and Rose contacted friends in the States and in a short time we had the money for the project, and a new charitable organization…Promesa Peru was born. Heartfelt thanks from us, the kids, the school's director Martin and the teachers to Ray, Rose, Joyce and the others who made this project happen.

If you’d like to learn more about Promesa Peru or help us with upcoming activities, visit the following link...

...or send an email to me

We hope to hear from you.

Tom & Maribel


  1. Tom - another good read
    I sent a very small donation in via paypal
    keep up the good work


  2. Thank you Jim. We’re looking at several possible activities right now and I hope to be able to tell you very soon where your money is going. I think you’ll be pleased.