Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Awww…do I have to go to school?

Wednesday, March 9th and it’s the first day of the new cycle at I.E.P.N 10841 Jose Carlos Mariategui school in the village of Collique Alto. National schools officially open throughout Peru on March 1st but in the less populated areas opening day is determined by the individual communities.

This is the class room of Mrs. White; one of 11 such classrooms. Her students are in the second grade of primary, which contains 6 grades in total. The secondary level has 5 grades. Mrs. White has been teaching at Collique Alto for 8 years. Today will be mostly orientation. Students will receive their government supplied text books and be given the notebooks, pencils, pens, rulers, erasers and paper provided by you, some of which are displayed on the desk. Thanks to the amount of donations received we were able to purchase additional items for the younger kids such as scissors, glue and a coloring notebook, and for the higher grades bi-color pens.

All of the 18 registered students for Mrs. White’s class were in school plus one unregistered student (no problem…we had purchased extras so were prepared). When she commented that it was unusual to see so many students on the first day, we asked what she thought accounted for the additional kids (we were hoping to hear her say Promesa Peru…we’re only human). Instead she replied, “Who knows?” :(

We think these kids know. Some of these folks provided money and some are contributing in other ways. Gracias.

Kinder is in a different building on a separate piece of land. Monica (in shorts), who is the kinder director told us 10 days ago that she had 12 kids registered. She phoned two days ago to say she had 3 more. Maribel suggested we plan for 20, and that’s exactly how many kinder students were there.

Did we accomplish anything today? No doubt less than we’d like, but perhaps more than we’d expect. There’s no question in our minds that the large number of kids at school today were there because parents had gotten the word that Promesa Peru was providing school materials. We’d like to believe that what we provided is opportunity. That’s really all we can do. Now it’s up to the kids and their parents to continue the momentum. There may not be a future president in any of these photos (though I wouldn’t bet against the girl looking at the camera) but if not it won’t be because you weren’t there for them. They know that. Thank you.

In appreciation:


  1. Lovely photos! Thank you!


  2. Thank you...for making me cry again. You made my day, looking at those beautiful little faces.

    God bless you and Maribel.

    P.S. Tom, rest, eat well, take your vitamins...many people need you :-)


  3. I have to second what Maria says - the world needs you around for a long, long time, so you better be taking care of yourself. Bless you and bless you again.