wiñaypaq needs more than words

winaypaq school in peruEarly last year, heavy rain, flooding and mud slides caused loss of life and devastation to many communities in Peru, including several in the Sacred Valley near famous Machu Picchu. One of the tragic casualties of the floods was the Intrepid Foundation supported Wiñaypaq school at Taray – the classrooms, kitchen, fish farm, workshops and teacher’s room were all left in ruins.

Established in 2005, this school provided free primary education in Quechua and Spanish to needy local children in a disadvantaged rural area. The great news fresh in, is that a new school has almost reached completion. Waltraud Stolben, the school’s founder, was absolutely determined that there be minimal disruption to the children’s education, so while their classes continued at a temporary location, new buildings were built with support from many Intrepid traveller donors.

The new school is now in Huandar, 10 minutes from Pisac town and hopefully in a less vulnerable location. 54 children will attend either the kindergarten or primary school classes and they have 6 teachers.

The new school buildings are over two terraces: on the first level is the kindergarten classroom and upstairs are a teacher’s bedroom and toilets. On the second level is the primary classroom, kitchen, administrative area and toilets. Some classes have started there, but for the time being construction has come to a halt as they are out of money.

They still need to complete the floor of the upstairs area, they need glass for the windows, shelving for books and the kitchen is unfinished. At the moment cooking is happening outside using two mud bricks to suspend a pot over firewood. The children are receiving a snack each day, rotating between soup, pudding, rice, porridge or fruit. The school is also lacking basic materials for lessons like crayons, pens, paper and books.

So the school is three quarters there, but needs financial assistance to become fully functional and it needs the kitchen finished so they can prepare healthy food in more hygienic conditions. Security is a concern and the teachers are currently sleeping in the school to protect it from robbers until it is at full lock up stage.

Can you help? We hope to send a sizeable donation through The Intrepid Foundation very shortly. If you are travelling to Peru, stationery items are welcomed, but the best way we can help is with money, as all the needed items can be purchased in local towns.

Please help Escuela Wiñaypaq’s completion via The Intrepid Foundation and double* your donation!

* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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