From the Field


The Value of Story NEW

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. […]


My Annual Trip to Peru and Bolivia

  It’s that time of year again when I get to go visit as many of our projects as possible in two weeks. This year, to try to maximize my time in the communities we decided to sleep three nights in a couple of the Bolivian jungle villages. I’m not sure what I was most […]


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 […]


Marathon

I usually drive on my own out to visit the projects, but rarely am I alone for the entire ride. There is always someone hitching a ride on the isolated mountain roads. Sometimes they are walking down from the community to take their animals to pasture, or often are heading back up after visiting the […]


Yissel and Damaris

Yissel and Damaris are sisters in first and second grade respectively, in our Biblioteca-style project in Manguita. Every time I visit Manguita, I am both impressed and thrilled with parental involvement in the project. The parents of Manguita inspired us to take home teaching strategies, where we develop individualized strategies for parents to use in […]


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 […]


¡Don Chinese!

Lo llamo así de cariño, es el “personaje” del Municipio de San Andrés. Llevo viajando con él por más de un año. Tiene 75 años, pero nadie se lo cree; nos parece que todavía es un hombre fuerte para la edad que dice tener. Es gracioso porque cada vez que viene Ian a visitarnos a […]


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 […]