At the end of the day, the garbage bin at the community center was filled with lots of glitters, stickers, ribbons, pipe cleaners and colorful strings. Up to 40 children came out to the new day camp, which is an extension to the Youth in action program. Children came to learn English, do activities, and play games.
The children were full of joy, when a participant named Joy was working on a small dance routine with all the girl. Besides the day camp, planning for tomorrows construction project was planned. Curious participants got to hike up the hill in Pacifico to see the pathway they will be building.
I met a very genuine lady named Maria, who lives on this hill, and she shared her concern for the pathway. Her age and abilities won’t allow for her to walk up and down this hill, she has already fallen a few times and this problem for her has continued on for years. It is interesting to see that something as little as a road can effect a life so dramatically. Until now, no one has worked with the community members to make a small change that will have big impacts.
Tomorrow will be another day of hark work and new experiences. I hope Solidarity in action can help motivate community members and show them the power of working together.
…Following a busy week, we had a very stimulating weekend. The weekend began with an evening meeting with newly elected president Hernan Caceres and Dr. Rocky Yanqui, the head doctor at the Pacifico de Villa Health Post. We met as a group of individuals to discuss the sewage and the poor lack of water. The weekend included working with the health promoters, on the initial phase of the “Hands for Hygiene Project”. We concluded the weekend by introducing SIA to the wider community during Hernan Caceres’ inaugural meeting with the population of Pacifico de Villa.
We have had an excellent and very successful week. The week began with an introduction into the Virgen del Rosario Medical Centre and concluded with the Pacifico de Villa general assembly. We were able to speak with all of our program partners for May and with other individuals and institutions within Pacifico de Villa and the surrounding area, who are working towards a brighter future for Pacifico de Villa and the surrounding area.
The week’s highlights included: Tuesday – meeting with Graciela Nieta, Executive Director of a newly developed medical centre in San Genero, attending Thalia Tacsa’s (Pacifico de Villa) dance class. Thursday – We met with the new doctor of the Pacifico de Villa medical post, and the wonderful promoters. Over lunch we met with Marta from one of the comedores (soup kitchens), and an inspirational conversation with Daniel Contreras. Friday – We finished the week with a workshop on Teaching Practices and Program Planning .
A busy first day: A good start in preparation for the next few months
Within a few hours of arriving to Lima, I just had time to unpack and track down a few voltage converters before Javier Bazan, Regional Manager of SIA Peru called. Javier had a arranged for me and him to meet with Graciela Nieto the Executive Director from Virgen del Rosario, a new medical centre located in San Genero, just fifteen minutes from Pacifico de Villa. Many of you who have traveled with SIA may remember Graciela. Graciela Nieto is a dentist from San Genero and she has been assisting us with various health campaigns. Most recently she guided the very successful dental hygiene campaign in Pacifico de Villa, led by students from the University of Waterloo. Graciela, Javier and I shared a wonderful Peruvian meal, Pollo a la brasa (Roasted chicken with fries and salad), as we mulled over the developments in the area of health over the last few months, and discussed the impending health projects for the year.
While discussing the different ideas that Graciela shared, I was impressed by the passion and care that she showed. Having recently developed a medical centre is San Genero, Graciela is excited to continue to provide a high level of medical care to a population that struggles to receive adequate care in the public institutions. Graciela is one of those people who can bring change and development to her own community. It was inspiring to see her determination.
I spent the rest of the evening speaking with Javier, as he brought me up to date on the developments that have taken place in Pacifico de Villa, the land surveying, the new president, etc. We discussed the progress made on our various projects and spoke about the the projects we are developing this year. We spent the remaining time finalizing the meeting dates and the schedule for the next few days. We have arranged a tight schedule, which should allow us to meet with all our partners, who will be working with us in the coming month, by Tuesday.