From the Field


Things are changing

I walked by an old woman, in traditional dress sitting outside of her home, and noticed that she was sending a message to someone on Whatsapp. My two year old daughter can open my phone’s photo album and scan through the pictures. Google is launching weather balloons that can provide Wi-Fi and the Bolivian government […]


Birdsong

I awake to the sounds of the birds. There are so many different birds: the loudest and most obvious are the roosters, self-consciously crowing since before sunrise. Next are the nearby songbirds and their familiar chirps and whistles that can be heard seemingly everywhere in the world. But then, from further off, deeper into the […]


Jungle Travel

There are few certainties. A hard to accept fact of life, but one that is clearly highlighted in the context of traveling in the jungle. The municipality is loaning us their 40hp outboard motor, which we mount on the long wooden boat of Don Wilfredo, a community leader and parent from Monte Cristo, in order […]


Coqui, our new project manager in Bolivia, gets “his feet wet” on first trip out to San Martin. Appears they have had more rain than us!

MI PRIMER VISITA A SAN MARTIN DE PORRES (BENI-BOLIVIA) Un día antes recogimos el material y lo cargamos a la camioneta para salir temprano según lo programado, como hay pronóstico de lluvias cubrimos todo con una carpa para proteger las cosas, apenas amaneció partimos con las profesoras Cristina y Dayana hacia nuestro destino. Después de […]


Boulder

The only guarantee when I head out to visit communities is that something interesting will happen along the way. In fact, it’s become so commonplace that I often don’t notice it as something notable. It’s sometimes nice to take people along on community visits to get a sense of those interesting things again. I went […]


Classroom

In boxing there is a saying: “Nothing gets you ready for the ring but the ring.” The same could be said about the classroom. We completed two weeks of intensive training, with 21 teachers from Cusco, Loreto, and Beni, by developing and implementing our lessons in a classroom with 24 students from the Kallpanchis Biblioteca […]


Teacher Training in Cusco

Story/Photo: Ian McGroarty For the first time, we will have an intensive two week teacher training in Cusco with our teachers from Loreto, Beni, and Cusco. The goal is to ensure that all teachers receive the same base training and experience with Alma’s innovative teaching methodology, which can then be adapted to the different community […]


TRUENOS LOCOS EN EL CIELO DE TUCSA

Historia/Foto: Octavio Quispe Checca Fue el día de logro del Proyecto Biblioteca Tucsa llegue muy entusiasmado en querer presenciar los resultados de aquellos niños ilusionados con sueños de tener calidad de vida. Minutos después que haber llegado,  iniciaron con las actividades programadas. Aquel día era lluvioso. Estuve muy atemorizado por los fuertes truenos que se repetían […]


When the Fox Cries

It’s rainy season here in Cusco, and that means if you haven’t planted your wheat, barley, or potatoes yet (depending on the altitude of your community), you are late! These mountains are volatile, and you never know when the rains will suddenly stop and you’ve missed your chance at a strong harvest. Actually, you almost […]


Fish!

Wherever two ecosystems meet, there will be life. So it is where the black waters of the Juanache River meet the muddy waters of the large Ucayali. At that bend, I often see the pink river dolphins breaching for air while fishing, and we often end up with one or two fish in our peque-peque […]


Jungle Animals

I was in the Peruvian Amazon recently to attend the final “achievement days” with the students, teachers, parents, and community members of our projects along the Ucayali River. It was the beginning of the rainy season and the river was already rising quickly, but was still not high enough to get into the community of […]


Filomena blog

We have been working in Tucsa for four years. Filomena started attending our project three years ago, although she was still in pre-school, and she has always made her presence felt. All of our teachers remember Filomena because she is the student who will not sit down; who cannot stay on task; who, now that […]


Las Palmeras

The road to Las Palmeras is almost always wet and often impassable. This year we got lucky, it was dry and we arrived late in the evening, had a sandwich and fell asleep in our tents. I was awakened by men yelling “aqua aqua”! Their well had gone dry and they had been drilling around […]


Alan’s Road Trip

We set out from Trini at 3 AM in a pickup truck owned by the Municipality. Our group for this road trip is our project manager Kathe, our program director Ian, and two staff people from the Municipality – Raquel and the driver “El Chino”. One of the reasons we have had success here is […]


Day 3 – Cotoca and Manguita

I had thought that sleeping in the jungle would be restful. I was wrong. It’s noisy. We slept on the floor of the school room in Manguita and between the insect noises, the roosters crowing (funny, I didn’t notice them during the day but heard them all night), the pigs and horses rooting around outside […]


Sleepless in Bolivia

It’s day one in Bolivia and already I feel like I’m in one of those Garcia Marguez novels where time stops and sleep doesn’t necessarily happen. My one and only day in Lima started at 1AM when I arrived but my taxi driver didn’t (he had fallen asleep in his car at the airport parking […]


There are difficulties, but we are getting there

I left at dawn towards the province of Canchi – Sicuani district of Combapata to the community of Tucsa. Tucsa is a community far away from the city where car traffic is almost unheard of. But for the Alma Foundation it is not impossible to reach these places as we are always eager to bring […]


A day in the life of a Program Coordinator

I’m preparing for my trip to Monte Cristo, Manguita and Cotoca. We will go in a speedboat, and it will be 11 hours on the river Ibare. I hope to be lucky and see many bufeos (freshwater dolphins). Doña Raquel, Rosa and Silvia are a staff of the Municipality of San Andrés, and they will […]


El Sur

When our Project Coordinator in Beni, Kathe, told me in a foreboding at the trip would be 12 hours in a speed boat, I wasn’t worried at all. In fact, I was happy to hear it. I love being on the rivers of the Amazon basin, and had truly enjoyed 15 hour plus trips by […]