The Honeymoon is Over!
Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
9Trip End Sep 28, 2010
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I just got back from Pumamarca School after spending the morning loading and moving wheelbarrows full of boulders off the playground. At 3500m altitude it's lungbusting work – believe me! Time for a bite to eat then it’s Spanish lessons and straight off up to the community to oversee the evening workshops where the villagers make arts and crafts to sell at the markets. After spending my first few days 'acclimatising’ and getting to know my volunteer housemates the honeymoon is definitely over!
Pumamarca is a tiny little mud brick village way up in the hills surrounding Cusco
Peru’s Challenge also work with the Pumamarca community and are helping the villagers to set up a business selling hand made arts and crafts. The profits from this far outweigh working out in the fields all day.
Pumamarca is now at a stage where Peru’s Challenge can start pulling back. The idea is for the community to sustain themselves – not rely on charity. They have therefore just started to engage with Quilla Huata, the neighbouring community, who need much more assistance.
For the two months that I am here I will mostly be helping out with construction but I will also be involved in teaching classes and carrying out community visits
The community are using their greenhouses to grow flowers because they can sell these for a high price at the markets. It was great to see the head gardeners pride. Conversely it was devastating to see the crops that have been ruined by the frost from the recent cold snap. Potatoes that sustain the community, usually 1-2 feet tall at this stage, have been ruined and are now regrowing but are little more than seedlings. Global warming? El Nino? These are the people that really suffer.
It’s hard work up here but has it’s bonuses – Sentusa, our house lady, has just cooked up a huge lunch for everyone and I’m off to enjoy!