The parents in Huathua Laguna petitioned us for a project for two years before we were able to free up some budget to visit the community and meet the people. Community authorities, individual parents, and even the random student would visit our project in neighboring Huadhua to request that we visit their community; to explain that their community really needs a project like this too; that their community has the organization and the drive needed to run a project and make it meaningful.
Finally, in 2017, we were able to open an afterschool project in Huathua Laguna that reinforces state-mandated academic content and promotes critical/creative thinking through dynamic projects based 100% on the students’ indigenous culture and values. The entire community and the state teachers have been wholly supportive from Day 1. Everything they claimed and committed to is true, and they have made the project there truly meaningful.
It is rare to visit the Huathua Laguna project without seeing parents visiting and participating in project sessions. They bring what they know into the classroom and weave it into the curriculum with us. They then take it all home with them using the home strategies we develop and continue working with their children in the evenings, on weekends, or during vacations.
Huathua Laguna, though sitting at over 4,400 meters above sea level in the cold, high Andes, is a warm and cozy home for an Alma project.