Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Rhythms, Voices, and Sounds of Sipàn

Rhythms, Voices, and Sounds of Sipàn - in Spanish Ritmos, Voces y Sonidos de Sipàn, is the name of a new organization whose purpose is to provide musical instrument training to needy kids who have shown an aptitude for music. The long-term goal will be to form a children’s symphony orchestra that will perform nationally and internationally. It is hoped that money earned from these appearances will help to sustain the organization.

Sipàn is a very poor village located 18 miles east of Chiclayo. To a visitor passing through Sipàn the image is that of an old, tired, dusty village. The only reason to be anywhere near the village is to see the nearby tomb of Señor Sipàn…the #1 tourist attraction in the northern third of Peru.

Most of the members of the new organization have a connection with Sipàn, many of them being associated with tourism in the north. Luis Chero (extreme left), who was elected president at a recent meeting is an archaeologist working in the Lambayeque Region. All of them have constant exposure to the poverty of the area and have a strong desire to help in some meaningful way. They believe that developing the kid’s musical talent will give them an opportunity they would not normally have for a better life.

There is a long road ahead from the initial organizational meeting to a performing orchestra. The first project is to get registered with SUNARP…an experience that can be daunting as we learned years ago when Promesa Peru went through the process. After registration other tasks will include finding volunteer music teachers and soliciting donations to buy instruments. A museum in Lambayeque has agreed to furnish space for music lessons (it helps to have a prominent archaeologist as president of the group).  As I understand it the method to identify students who qualify for training has yet to be determined.

Maribel and I do not have the time to be active members of Ritmos, Voces, y Sonidos de Sipàn, but we support their cause and will do whatever we can to help. We’ll be in frequent contact with the group and will post updates on their progress.

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