Wednesday, September 24, 2014

And then there’s the Village of El Pavo

El Pavo does not appear on the municipal map of the Tùcume District. That may have been an oversight, but the villagers say it’s just another example of being ignored by the district authorities. We were in El Pavo at the invitation of Ana Angelica Azalde, the president of the parent’s association. She had learned about us from the school director of the pronoei in nearby Payesa.

After riding in a mototaxi from Tùcume for what seems like hours but is only 15 minutes through a maze of corn fields, El Pavo suddenly appears and the path stops. You are literally at the end of the road. We were told that the farm fields surrounding the village are owned by wealthy people living in bigger cities like Chiclayo and even Lima, not by the villagers. The villagers work in the fields for wages, and often work is not available.

In several ways El Pavo is unique from other villages, beginning with its unusual name. El Pavo translates to “The Turkey.” We have no idea how or why it got that name. Secondly there are no roads in the village…not even a walking path. There is no discernable pattern to the house locations…. no grid pattern, no directional orientation and no relationship to each other. With every step you’re treading on someone’s property… walking through an opening in a fence to someone else’s lot. I felt like a trespasser and kept expecting to be attacked by dogs or by an irate woman with a broom. The pronoei we had come to visit – “Angelitos de Maria” – Little Angels of Mary, was hidden amidst the maze of houses and gardens, and there was a sigh of relief when we found it.

It’s called a pronoei but it’s really not in the sense that the government didn’t build it. It is an old private house that is being used as a kinder for Amelia Valdera and her 15 students. It is constructed of adobe brick, with tree and bamboo logs supporting a leaking corrugated roof. The furniture inside is in terrible condition. We actually saw two kids fall to the floor when a table leg collapsed. The casual attitude toward this incident displayed by the teacher and kids would seem to indicate that it’s not unusual. Amelia told us that there are 7 more kids of kinder age in the village but the school doesn’t have chairs or tables for them so they don’t attend. 

This school, as it is equipped now does not provide a decent learning environment. Fifteen kids clustered around 3 broken down tables sitting in chairs held together with string and tape is not only unacceptable but dangerous.  We’d like to properly equip this school. Chairs and tables are a priority, along with storage shelves and a whiteboard. But there is a complication. The owner of the house wants it returned as soon as possible. Ana and Amelia have gone to authorities in Tùcume several times in the past year asking for a new school, but were told there is no money.

One possible option the village is looking at is the purchase of this lot (that's Amelia on the left…Ana in the center). It is owned by Ana’s father-in-law who will sell it at a reasonable price if it is used for a pronoei. Authorities in Tùcume have indicated that there is the possibility of providing money for the lot, but not for a building at present.

Whatever the classroom solution turns out to be, chairs, tables, shelves and whiteboard are needed now, and they can be moved to wherever the next classroom is located.

What we’re looking at is:

1 whiteboard - $80
2 metal storage shelves – $65
5 wood tables – $125
25 plastic chairs – $100
Transportation - $70
Total - $440

Please consider helping us. A donation of $4 will provide a chair…$25 a table. Please visit the Promesa Peru webpage to donate.


  1. How about school supplies?? I'm about to leave Arizona to live in Piura, Peru in about two months. I'm sure I can fill a suitcase of supplies that I can buy very cheap here in the US. I know Piura is not that far from Chiclayo, and I can travel to deliver the supplies if you are willing to meet me somewhere in Chiclayo??

    1. Hi Nadia…Your offer of school supplies is appreciated. We make the 3 hours bus trip to Piura often so could meet you there or in Chiclayo. Or if you’d care to you could go with us to El Pavo or some other village to deliver the supplies yourself.

      Last year the ‘official’ government list of supplies required for each kinder/pronoei student included:
      1 – notebook
      2 – pencils
      1 – pencil sharpener
      2 – erasers
      1 – jar of glue
      1 – plastic folder
      12 – colored pencils
      1 – tape
      1 – package of modeling clay
      1 – water color paints
      1 – scissors
      1 package – plain paper
      1 package – colored paper
      1 package – poster paper

      Thanks for writing,

  2. I'm so sorry for the previous comment my phone got blocked. I'm not sure if you're getting my emails. I have a few donors for Promesa Peru and would like to ask you on how we send the donations. Could you please get back to me?

    1. Nadia, I have not gotten emails from you so don't have an address to respond to. Try sending an email to me at

      Donations can be made at PayPal through our webpage: