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 […]


¡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 […]


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 […]


Maria Elena story

Maria Elena graduated from high school last year and was an outstanding student in one of our pre-university academies. She is the youngest of three children and studied in an alternative-schedule school, where she spent two weeks in school and two weeks at home, and therefore could have access to secondary education although she lived […]


Sexual Violence in rural Peru and Bolivia

Ever since I have been coming down here I have heard stories of sexual violence in communities. I had a shocking experience very early on with Alma. We were supporting an outreach program with a facility for children with special needs. I went out for a day on family visits with the social worker and […]


Nuevo Amanecer

We slept in Trini last night which gave us the chance to buy Saltenas for the drive. Saltenas are an empanada type pastry filled with meat, potatoes, egg and lots of juice/gravy. Bolivians eat them for breakfast, you can only buy them before 11AM. The first time I had one I was warned; they are […]


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 […]


Meet Elizabeth from San Martin

The hot, dusty community of San Martin feels empty and forgotten and a million miles away from anything (in fact it is only a four-hour drive from Trini but somehow feels even more remote than our other communities). When we arrived we saw no one. I managed to get sick last night so I am […]