On Monday March 31st our new little school in Pachacutec opened. Although the building wasn’t quite ready, despite the workmen doing everything at the double, the children still started their first school day. Some children in this area have never been to school, others for a month or 2 then lack of money meant they had to leave. Our school is virtually free and I can tell you, the queue of parents who were still hoping for a place for their child, was a very happy sight. The Allisons, Jhonathans, Joses, Luceros, Williams (???) (no Lenins nor Bush, not even a Blair or a Ladydi….as yet!)etc were very animated indeed, although I have to confess one little boy was trying to climb out of the window whilst sobbing for his mum. They looked very smart as the parents had pulled out all the stops to buy the basic uniform of grey trousers, skirt and white blouse/shirt. It’s a matter of pride and making them feel (parents and children) that they are the same as everyone else….uniform is a big deal here in Peru and a symbol of progress.
Next Monday is the official opening and blessing of the classrooms, so no workmen, no saws, no paintpots, but the Regional Mayor, the Director of Education for Ventanilla, the padre, Carlos, myself and the parents – and the press I hope. Quite a bizarre collection of bodies in the middle of this lunar landscape, but I’ll put more photos in next time. Thanks for all your comments and encouragement….what we are doing in Educateperu is working – look at these faces and be proud of your contribution – I am!