Friday, September 25, 2015

Things are good in Las Salinas

When we arrive at a village school to deliver donated items there is usually a simple ceremonial welcome. Today is the first time we were met by a marching band. The kids played well for primary school kids.

We delivered two storage shelves, a gas stove and tank asked for during our first visit by the director Patricia Gil and the other teacher Presentacion Bernilla. At that time they also asked for sport uniforms for the 24 students but we declined that request based on the kids having formal school uniforms. After taking a closer look at the uniforms today we think maybe we were wrong. Probably 90% of those uniforms were second hand; are faded and threadbare and won’t last much longer. Oh well.

We took the opportunity to ask Patricia and Presentacion what they knew about the QaliWarma stove program. Both are aware of the program and had gone to Tucumè authorities several months ago to ask for a stove but were told they would not get one. They were not told why. To their knowledge (and ours) no schools in the Tucumè District have gotten stoves. They were surprised to learn that the kinder in Las Canteras in the Patapo District had one.   

We were also asked to help restore water to the school, and are happy to report that water has been restored, at least temporarily. An electrician from Tucumè replaced a defective part in the pump and was able to get it working again, but cautioned that the pump will need to be replaced in the future. What the village authorities would like to do is replace the pump and add a second holding tank so that water could be shared with the entire village. As it is now the villagers must transport water from a well located 20 burro minutes from the village. A 2200 liter tank costs about $500. If you’d like to help the village purchase a tank please visit the Promesa Peru webpage

Our thanks to Chris R., the Alice Cool Foundation, Clif Brown and others for aiding the people of Las Salinas.


  1. could you explain what a pronoei is? It appears to be a pre-school.

    1. Hi Clif...thanks for the question.

      Pronoei is an acronym for Programa no escolarizado de Educación Inicial which translates to Unschooled program Initial Education. The ‘unschooled’ part basically means it is not a national school.

      A pronoei is a classroom in a district-built or private building. Its purpose is to provide schooling to 3 – 5 year olds where no kinder is within a reasonable walking distance. Graduates go on to primary school the same as those who attended a kinder. Unlike kinder teachers Pronoei teachers are not required to have a university degree and thus are paid much less than their kinder counterparts. Other than the teachers pay, pronoeis are not supported by government. In theory the village is responsible for equipping the classroom.

  2. Ok. I saw a picture of one where the kids were holding up the letters of the word but I couldn't make out what each stood for.

    In your travels, do you concentrate on the pronoei's or take them under review along with the other schools?

    1. We don’t focus on any one type of school. What happens is that we receive a phone call or email from a school director saying that their school needs help and asking us to visit. The majority of requests are from national primary schools, grades 1 through 6. The second group is national kinder schools ages 3 to 5. Third is the pronoeis. We have never received a request to visit from a secondary school (grades 7 through 12).

      Most of our activities involve pronoeis simply because they aren’t government sponsored and are usually poorly equipped. Also, we like working with the 3 to 5 age group because we believe that with a proper learning environment, good study habits and attending school regularly becomes a habit.

      As an aside, we can usually predict where and what type of schools will be contacting us. These school directors talk to each other, and if we help a pronoei, kinder or primary in a village, we know that we’ll be contacted by similar type schools from that area.