Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Welcome to the Village of Los Sanchez

Long ago Señor Sanchez must have thought this piece of land in the Lambayeque valley was a good place to build a home on. No one knows how long ago that was, but in this 20 family village that evolved on the site the Sanchez name still dominates. The photo shows the entire length of the village. The villagers earn their living by raising and selling corn and lentils. They also have a lot of fruit trees that the women make jam with or simply sell the raw fruit in Tùcume. There are no commercial enterprises in Los Sanchez…no stores, restaurants, pharmacies, etc. There is a small medical clinic visited 3 times weekly by medical people from Tùcume.

In about the middle of the village is the pronoei Mi Mundo Maravilloso, which translates to My Wonderful World. It wasn’t there 2 months ago. Historically the kids from Los Sanchez had walked 2 miles to the pronoei in Payesa. This year in January the parents association was told that Payesa was full and had no room for kids from other villages.

Los Sanchez has an active parents association and they reacted quickly to the situation. They rented a house for one year for 50 soles ($15) per month. They cleaned and painted inside and out. The school director/teacher Karina bought banners with her own money to hang inside and out for the purpose of, in her words, “creating an identity for the school.” The parents we talked with were obviously proud of what they’d done in a short period of time. There are 14 students at present and 5 more will start attending. The parents of those 19 kids are paying 3 soles each month for the school rent. Instead of paying rent they would prefer that the village had its own pronoei.

The community owns this vacant piece of land in the center of the photo. Last month Karina and members of the parents association spoke with authorities in Tùcume about having a pronoei built on the land. As expected they were told there is no money. During our discussions Karina asked if Promesa Peru could help with having a school built. She said a first step would be to meet with Tùcume’s mayor to see what the city could provide if Promesa Peru helped. It’s an intriguing prospect that we will seriously consider. The women told us they would work hard to clear the land and help with construction if possible. They said their husbands would do the same. I wonder how their husbands will react to having their wives make commitments for them.

Whether a new school materializes or not, there is an immediate need to equip the present classroom. They need 5 tables, 20 chairs, 2 storage shelves and a whiteboard. The cost estimate is:
5 tables - $182
20 chairs – 365
2 shelves – 45
1 whiteboard – 75
Total - $667
Transport and small miscellaneous items will bring that to about $700.

We have never come across a village more deserving of our help than Los Sanchez. These kids are sitting on pails and bricks with no desks or tables. They and the parents deserve a real classroom. There is no way we can do this ourselves. If there is any way you can spare a few dollars please visit the Promesa Peru web page. The people of Los Sanchez will thank you.

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