The Andean schools in Palacio, Ozogoche and Chanchán
START PROJECT: February 2015
Since February 2015 we provide healthy school lunches to 130 elementary school kids. Every week we send loads of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken, rice and grains to three different mountain schools. The parents and the teacher have rotated cooking schedules so the kids get a nutritious meal every day. For a lot of children, this meal is the best meal of the day. As studying with an empty stomach is very difficult this food project is giving very good results. It is inspiring to see how these kids come running to the car to check out which food they will get that week.
With tourist volunteer groups we plan maintenance jobs (for example painting the desks) every year. We have painted desks, put nice pictures on the school walls and helped them with their communal garden/land where they produce some potatoes and beans.
In Ozogoche we donated materials and money to build pig shelters and we donated pigs. The children take care of the pigs during the school year. At the end of the year, they get the choice what to do with the pig. The school pig of Palacio was sold and by adding some little extra money we were able to buy new sports shoes for all the 28 children. The 2 pigs of Ozogoche got 7 piglets. They sold them all and with the money we can now buy new school materials. Every year at the beginning of the year we buy new small pigs ($40 per pig).
With the women organisation of Palacio, we started a pig project. We donated the building materials, so they build pig sheds and gave them pigs. At first instance, they got 5 black pigs with the idea of reproducing them. When that didn’t work (the male was not really into the females) we re-evaluated the project, with the help of a local veterinary and decided to do it differently. We sold the big pigs and with the money we bought 4 small pink pigs. The idea is to grow them bigger and then sell them again. With the money, they can buy small pigs again and put the extra money aside to do new projects. Thanks to a tourist group they got 2 extra pink pigs that we will try to reproduce.
Apart from sending food every week, we help out the schools with all different type of educational materials. Although in theory education is free in Ecuador (no registration fees, free tutorials,…) we see that in reality parents have to spend a lot of money to send their children to school. Parents have to buy school utensils (pens, colours, erazor, scissors, notebooks, handicraft materials, uniforms,…) and sometimes even toilet paper, desks and chairs. They are supposed to pay for electricity, maintenance materials (paint, windows,….), drinking water,… So to lower the expenses for the parents, we provide the schools with the necessary utensils and organize days to do maintenance on the schools. Last school year we contributed building materials to make a new playground in Ozogoche (cement, sand, stones). And a couple of times a year we organise handicraft days (Mothers day, Christmass,…) and make things with the children to cheer up their mums and their houses.
At the end of every schoolyear, we plan a trip with all the children. Most children will never get the chance to see something of their own beautiful country (as all tourists who come to Inti Sisa). So one day a year we let them be little tourists, a day of just playing, no worrying and being a child. It is a good motivation to study well during the year and they absolutely love it. So this year we took them all to Baños to visit the waterfalls, the zoo, the boats, the tarabita, the swimming pool,… They loved it!!! We too!!!
Total budget received from CE Travels: U$4000,00 a year.
These very sympathetic projects fit completely into the atmosphere of Inti Sisa Art Guesthouse/CE Travels´ mission: TOURISM IN FAVOR OF ALL OF US.
Quito, Ecuador, November 2016
Wytze van Goor