From the Field


Spirituality in Our Curriculum NEW

We state in our mission statement that we teach “harmonious values” (alongside critical and creative thinking) and that we want our students to become “socially responsible and environmentally conscious”. I’ve been thinking lately that what we are talking about is spirituality. I think it’s fair to say that the traditional “saving graces” for our world […]


Partners

  When we first begin a new project, and in every meeting, we have with community members after, our project coordinators and I always repeat one key idea: “This is not only an Alma project, but a partnership between the community, Alma, and local authorities.” Though our projects have changed since Alma began in 2010, […]


Las Palmeras’ Computers

In a recent meeting with parents from Las Palmeras, we were in a long debate about how to move forward with our project now that the school we created together is a registered public pre-school and primary school with two teachers hired and paid by the Ministry of Education. One idea was to include an […]


Antisuyo’s Balanced Diet

  I recently visited one of our new projects in the Cusco region, Antisuyo, to speak with the parents, teachers, and students and sit in on their first session with Alma. The goal of the day was to create a food pyramid with foods relevant to the students’ community, which will eventually be used to […]


Jhon Adriel, Huadhua

    Jhon Adriel is in the 4th grade at our Huadhua program. We asked him about how the program has helped his self-confidence. He said:   “At first, I was afraid to speak in front of my classmates, I just watched what they participated, sometimes I wanted to cry when the teacher asked me […]


Honourable Harvest

  My years as a boxer taught me early on that stepping to the side and looking from a slightly different angle will open up entirely new opportunities and perspectives. This holds true in teaching, as well. Today I reviewed a project outline where the main challenge was to “cultivate a nutritional eco-garden to promote […]


Getting To Know The Parents In Huathua

  We have started meeting with the parents in different communities where Alma has been implementing our programming. Recently we went to the community of Huathua Laguna, district of Quiquijana, province of Quispicanchi.   The road to this community is already rough and because of the continuous rain, the road was incredibly slippery. We almost got […]


Training Vs. Effective Training

  Ian recently came to Bolivia to help us with training. He tells us that there are two different types of training: training and effective training. The question the Alma team has to answer is: What is the difference between these two types of training? The more we train and learn from each other the […]


2019 School Year With Alma

  We started the year recruiting teachers for the new school year 2019.  Teachers who are enthusiastic to learn something different and willing to face new education challenges. The ALMA team got training and we prepare to continue disseminating the ALMA curriculum along with our teaches.  This curriculum promotes CRITICAL THINKING, ANALYTICAL THINKING, AND CREATIVITY […]


Alejandro

  Alejandro is 10 years old and lives in the Manguita community. Until recently he was a shy boy and not very sociable and did not have good grades in school. As a student in the Alma program, Alejandro is beginning to show encouraging signs in school performance and his teachers said recently he is […]


New Year New Challenges

    Over the course of 2018, the Alma Foundation implemented five new projects – and we’re ready to keep growing. The new year brings an even greater challenge. This year we are implementing a total of 28 new projects. It won’t be easy but we are preparing for it, by training. We focused in […]


Chicha Morada

  Corn was domesticated from the wild grass, Teosinte, in Mesoamerica around 9,000 years ago. However, the word “domesticated” doesn’t seem to tell enough of the story. Teosinte looks nothing like corn, and the process of selective splicing to turn it into maize must have taken generations. Eventually, around 6,500 years ago, that maize made […]


Education in Vietnam Vs. Peru

  I am currently participating in a trip through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos and ended up visiting a number of schools in remote indigenous communities here. I couldn’t help but notice that almost every community that I visited has a primary school and most have secondary and “high schools”. Also, I noticed that the schools […]


Chinchero!

  Here in Cusco, Peru we are in the midst of our intensive teacher training program before we send our teachers out to their respective communities. This week, we are doing the final tweaks and edits to the many lesson plans that make up our different dynamic and indigenous culture-based project activities: create a fun […]


Karina!

I was walking quickly, trying to get my destination and avoid the traffic and crowds as much as possible. Since moving to the small mountain village called Urubamba, I’ve come to avoid going to the city of Cusco. As I was walking I heard a voice that sounded somewhat familiar, and when I looked up, […]


The Value of Story

Storytelling has always been a primary mode of learning in indigenous communities. Before colonization and “settler” education systems were placed upon indigenous peoples, storytelling was the way in which wisdom, often carried through generations, was conveyed to children. Today it is as relevant as ever and an integral part of how Alma delivers indigenous education. […]


Bumps in the Road…

  I was planning my trip to visit the Monte Cristo and Manguita’s projects. We were traveling with Dayana, Kathy’s teacher, her 2 kids Mateo who is 3 years old, and Sofia who was only 25 days old. In a normal trip without any setbacks, it takes around 11-13 hours but this trip was not […]


Keep Trying

  My grandfather used to bring cold lemonade and a homemade sandwich to the plains outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico where he grew up. The small lunch was the offering to his teacher, an old Mexican rancher who once rode with Pancho Villa, for lessons on everything cowboy. The old man would tell him the […]


The Road to Chumpe and Lacco!

    Chumpe and Lacco are far away. So far, in fact, that to drive there from Cusco is to drive over the spine of the Andes and begin down the other side – halfway to the Amazon! The good news is that they are within an hour of each other. So when we go to […]