Thursday, May 12, 2016

The village of El Carmen

El Carmen was one of the few villages in the eastern half of the Tùcume District we had not visited. That situation changed earlier this week when we followed up on Saida Sandoval’s invitation to visit her pronoei.

El Carmen is somewhat larger than other villages in the area, with over 30 families calling the village home. Like its neighboring villages it has no commercial businesses. Agriculture in the form of corn and sweet potatoes is the main industry, with honey and fruit also contributing to family income. We saw several animal pens holding many pelibueys; in English known as sheep-goat. The residents told us the flavor is delicious. 

The dirt streets and houses are clean and maintained, though there is no attempt at aesthetics…no ornamental shrubbery or other small touches we sometimes look for as an indication of community pride, but in these poor villages clean is good enough for us.  Burro and horse droppings in the street come with the territory.  

The pronoei Mis Pequeños Angelitos mirrors the village in its modest appearance and sparse furnishings, but what it lacks in material possessions it makes up for in spirit, both in the teacher, parents and kids. Usually there is a period of ‘strangeness’ when we first enter a village but these folks welcomed us from the get go as if we were long lost relatives.

The building housing the pronoei is not owned by the community, however the understanding is that the owner has donated the use of the building in perpetuity. Saida has 15 students this school term and will have 18 next year, all of them living in El Carmen. Eighteen kids will be pushing the limit of available space, and Saida is going to need a lot more furniture than the two tables and 7 chairs she has now.

We hope to contribute these items to pronoei Mis Pequeños Angelitos:

Four tables - $145
Eight chairs - $110
Two storage shelves $50
One whiteboard - $45
Transport and Misc. - $35
Total - $385

We’re going to need help to do that. Please, please visit the Promesa Peru webpage if you can help us. Any amount is appreciated. Thank you.

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