Since our first visit to Q’eros in 2004, the people have asked for schools. Most adults never attended school, so they cannot interact effectively with the modern world. They know education will enable today’s Q’ero youth to direct their community’s future.
“We don’t want our children to grow up to be know-nothings,” one father explained
Our donors have funded the construction of 16 classrooms and teacher salaries in five remote communities. The “crown” of the schools is nearly complete – the first high school in the region. Parents and teens of Q’eros have worked for many months digging foundations, making adobe walls, building roofs, and installing floors. They volunteer their labor in partnership with our supporters who have donated the costs of building materials.
Culturally sensitive teachers are instructing the youth in their native Quechua language and teaching them Spanish so they can interact with the dominant society in Peru. The youth are learning their own history, as well as more about their rights in order to avoid exploitation. This type of education will help them build meaningful lives and to develop their communities.
Teen girls are attending high school for the first time. And teen boys will no longer have to live alone in severe poverty to attend high school in a remote city or work in the gold mines of the Amazon in terrible slave-like conditions. The gift of education lifts up all youth and every Q’ero community.
Teachers Are Heroes in Q’eros!
This year Peru’s Ministry of Education hired six different teachers to fill two open positions in our new high school in Hapu Q’eros. Every one of them quit because of isolation and harsh conditions. So we were elated when Yuliana and Wilson (not related) agreed to teach high school for the entire year. They teach for three weeks each month without communicating with their own families or children. They hike many hours to the village carrying 3 weeks of food, which lasts until their next visit home. They cook on a small stovetop, and sleep on platform beds in a shared room that is always cold.
Yuliana and Wilson, you are heroes for the children!