From the Field


COVID-19 Pivots

As I write this, the number of reported cases and deaths in Peru and Bolivia is not “flattening” and the situation is dire. Trinidad, our base in Bolivia, has the highest per-capita caseload in the country and the total cases in Peru puts them 10th in the world (twice as many cases as in China). […]


Remote Learning Lesson Plans

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education in Peru is working hard to make sure the 2020 school year is not lost. It created a distance-learning platform called “yo aprendo en casa” (I learn at home) which broadcasts daily lesson plans for all grade levels through television, internet, and radio. In addition, the national […]


Remote Learning in Quispicanchi

Since late last year Alma has been working with 14 educational specialists and 2,218 teachers from the UGEL Quispicanchi to use Alma’s unique teaching methodology based in local indigenous knowledge, critical and creative thinking, harmonious values, and state mandated academic competencies in order achieve the goals set forth in Peru’s national curriculum for all of […]


A special project in challenging times.

Iquitos is a large city in the northern jungle region of Peru. It has a high level of economic poverty clustered into three neighbourhoods in particular. That is where we support two “partner projects” and I must say that when I visited a few years ago I was struck by the difficult living conditions. COVID-19 […]


Coronavirus in Bolivia

Bolivia was just put in total quarantine throughout the territory because of the coronavirus crisis. We can no longer walk about the city or live our normal routine. Representatives from the Alma Foundation in Bolivia, along with the Bolivian Police, went to drop off food and necessary goods to our Alma Alumni project, located in […]


Our Teachers

Have you ever wondered how the Alma Foundation teachers do their planning? Our teachers have to create practical and theoretical lessons and run through the lessons themselves before going to their communities. They want to ensure that the children are inspired, and they enjoy their learning and have fun. That is why our teachers are […]


Coronavirus

In Peru and Bolivia, the start of the school year has been pushed back to April. Our teachers and coordinators are working hard from home on refining their lesson plans, reviewing teaching strategies, and creating new culturally-based projects. Instead of being a setback, these two weeks of state-enforced quarantine have given us time to clarify […]


Different Perspectives

  If there’s one thing we all agree on, it’s that no one seems to agree about anything! There is no need to go into specific examples of the polarization affecting societies around the world – we all seem to have a list of examples on hand at all times. I was in Bolivia last […]


The Political Crisis in Bolivia

Bolivia has experienced an unprecedented political crisis since October 2019. The conflict began earlier in the year, with the protest from many sectors of the Bolivian society against Evo Morales Ayma fourth consecutive run for president, contradicting what is postulated in the Political Constitution of the State, the country’s magna rule. Following the general elections […]


Dina and Linda

  As the school year comes to a close in Peru and Bolivia, we hold our “Achievement Day” assemblies with parents, teachers, and children in all of the communities we work in. The children present the processes and products of their projects during the year, the parents challenge their children to explain and show what […]


Regime Change in Bolivia

On October 20 Bolivians voted Evo Morales back into power but there were “irregularities” on election day. You may have read about this. The Organization of American States (OAS) and others suggested that the ballot system was manipulated and pressure grew for Evo to resign. Evo supporters, as well as those demanding his resignation, took […]


Elections in Bolivia

  In Canada we take democracy for granted. In Peru and Bolivia they don’t. As I write this blog, the Peruvian government has been shut down as yet again the President has been caught up in scandal and perhaps will join EVERY OTHER LIVING EX: PRESIDENT either in jail or living in exile while wanted […]


Ricardo, Class President

  Ricardo is the class president of our program in Villa Alba Bolivia.  He is in 6th grade; the last grade of primary school. This kid exudes confidence and humour. He was teasing me about my clothing and my bad Spanish (both warrant teasing). I grilled him on his duties as class president and what he […]


The Rainforest in Bolivia

As I write this (I’m in Bolivia) there are fires raging out of control in large parts of the Bolivian and Brazilian Amazon rainforests. Meanwhile, I have been in our communities which are in the jungle area of Bolivia and was struck again, as I am every year, at how much forest gets cut and […]


Food Security In The Jungle

  One of the differences between economically impoverished communities in urban areas of Peru and Bolivia vs in rural areas is that in rural areas, particularly in the jungle area of Bolivia, people are well-fed. The jungle still provides decent sources of meat (wild animals), fish, fruit, and vegetables (mostly cultivated). They also grow rice […]


Meet Yilda

  When we drove to Villa Alba, Coqui told me about a little eight-year-old girl named Yilda who had won a state-wide storytelling competition open to all students UP 16 YEARS OLD! After the classroom visit and after the parent meeting we were eating lunch when this super sweet soft-spoken girl came up to me […]


Azumi

  While I was visiting the different projects in the Cusco region I was excited to visit the Karhuacalla Project because I wanted to meet one of the students there. Azumi is a 10 years old student attending the 5th grade at our Karhuacall Project. She is showing great aptitude in her classrooms. She is […]


A choreographed approach to sustained critical inquiry among Indigenous learners Garfield Gini-Newman and Jean-Paul Restoule

Garfield Gini-Newman, a professor at the University of Toronto and a consultant with the Critical Thinking Consortium has written a chapter titled “A choreographed approach to sustained critical inquiry among Indigenous learners” in the soon to be published book Engaging Indigenous Students: Creating Pathways to Success.   I think that it is powerful and an endorsement of our […]


What Makes A Place Meaningful?

  What makes a place meaningful? The meaning and importance of place is a foundation of many indigenous cultures throughout the world, including the indigenous communities in Peru and Bolivia where we work. Recently, the students in our projects in Beni, Bolivia finished their Informative Cultural Maps for Visitors project activity, and over the last […]