Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Meeting with the Mayor of Tùcume

In a recent post we mentioned the tenaciousness of a teacher and parent’s association in the village of Los Sanchez  toward their goal of having a school built.  When we left their village two weeks ago the teacher, Karina said she would contact the mayor to set up a meeting to talk about a school. She and members of the parent’s association had previously talked with the mayor and were told there is no money. Karina felt that adding Promesa Peru to the issue might produce a better outcome. We had that meeting this morning.

Santos Sanchez is in the first year of a four-year term. He’s a personable man with a charming, easy going manner. He seemed genuinely interested in what we - me and Maribel, Karina and three of the village women had to say. We’ve donated items worth thousands of dollars during the past few years to schools in the Tùcume District, so it was a little disappointing to learn that Santos had not heard of Promesa Peru. He thanked us profusely when Maribel ticked off the names of the villages and schools we’ve helped, and Karina shared her experience with our recent donation to her school.

Discussion began with the issue of ownership of the lot to build a school on. We have a copy of the legal title and had our attorney look at it. It basically gives the legal description of the lot, and goes on to spell out that the owner of the lot, a woman who inherited the property from her father agreed to sell the lot to a five-member committee representing the parents association of Los Sanchez for the purpose of building a pronoei to be named “Los Niños de Jesus”. The selling price was 600 soles for the 158 square meter lot. The document was signed by all parties on March 6 2008 in Chiclayo. There seems to be no doubt that the community owns the lot. Construction was never started.

Karina emphasized to the mayor several time that “…if Promesa Peru can help us this is an opportunity we should not let pass.” We were quick to emphasize the “if”, saying that we make no promises other than that if a reasonable proposal should result from our discussion we would consider asking for donations.

The meeting lasted a little over an hour. The action plan agreed on this morning is that the parents association will submit a formal “letter of solicitation” asking the mayor to have a school built in Los Sanchez. When Santos receives the letter he will meet with his budget staff to determine the cost of building a school, and what the City of Tùcume could contribute toward that cost. At that point he will contact Karina who will contact us for a second meeting.

We have no idea what it would cost to construct a pronoei and neither did the mayor. Odds are nothing will come of this, but it will be an interesting learning experience, and it would be rewarding to be part of the emergence of a school in Los Sanchez.

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