Friday, April 15, 2016

Furniture in Monsefú and Uniforms in Las Salinas

Wednesday morning we were in Monsefú in time to meet the carpenter who was delivering the six tables we had ordered. On March 10th we had delivered two storage shelves and 25 chairs. Patricia Custodio, the school’s director was pleased with the quality of the tables. Her one minor concern is that she thought two of the tables were too dark. The carpenter, Isidro Uypan said he would correct that when he had time. We believe he will. Isidro was very interested in our opinion of his work, and asked us to keep him in mind if we needed furniture again in the area.

Isidro’s prices were the lowest we found in Monsefú. The tables cost 100 soles each, and he offers chairs for 45 soles. The respective US dollar amounts are $30.53 and $13.74 at today’s exchange rate of 3.275. Incidentally, the rate has been dropping steadily from a high of 3.504 in early March. Our purchasing power is shrinking fast.

The cost for the Monsefú project including two storage shelves, 25 chairs, six tables and transport came to $331.52. We had estimated $327.98.  We’ll settle for that.


As mentioned in a previous post regarding the village of Las Salinas, we had the opportunity to correct a bad decision made last year, and we rectified the situation today by delivering 24 uniforms for the 12 primary and 12 kinder students.  The teachers, kids and especially the moms were happy to get them. Our seamstress had been in the village with us weeks ago to take the kid’s measurements, and the uniforms fit perfectly. We’ve made a change in our thinking about the logos on the uniforms. Instead of the Promesa Peru logo, we’re using the school emblem circled by the words Promesa Peru Chiclayo. That will give the uniforms specific school identity. And in the future we may consider unique uniform colors for each school, though abandoning the Green Bay Packers green and gold will personally cause me some heartburn. 

After the uniforms were handed out and a zillion photos were taken we sat down to a lunch of ceviche and chicken with rice prepared by the mothers. Teachers, parents and the kids were able to eat at the same time because of the cooking equipment we had provided last year.We estimated $571.82 for the uniform project. The actual cost was $575.63.


Next Tuesday we’ll be in the village of Los Sanchez to put the finishing touches to that project. That is a project we’re excited about. Completely equipping a new school in a village that has never had a school, and working with an active parent’s association to get the job done is a rewarding experience. We estimated $700 for this project. There are still some things to be purchased but to date we’re under budget, and hope it stays that way.

There is one loose end from last year that we want to address. In October we wrote about the village of Posope Alto and the needs of their pronoei. We had asked for and received some donations in preparation for providing furniture to the school. Over the past six months we’ve contacted several individuals asking what the status is and each time were told we’d be contacted soon. That hasn’t happened so we’re going to use the $154 we’ve been holding donated for that project for other activities.

It’s been a busy few months and we expect that requests for help will keep coming in. A looming problem is that donations have been really slow this calendar year. If that doesn’t change we may not be able to respond to deserving schools that need our help. We’ve been fortunate that people like Chris Raupe and the friends and family of the Alice Cool Foundation have stood by us. Without them the Monsefu and Las Salinas projects would not have happened, and we would not be going to Los Sanchez next week. Won’t you please consider helping us to help the poor families in the Lambayeque Region? You can do that by visiting the Promesa Peru webpage. Thank you.

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