What a week it’s been. This year’s Team Peru is a bit different than past. For one, we have a team of mixed age participants. Sure, in past years we’ve had both young and old – but this year, we’ve got a group of families with children ranging from 10 to 16. It’s a super energetic group and certain to be a lot of fun.
As I type this message, we are on our way back to Lima. Our time in Ica has been full of rich experiences.
Our week started on Sunday with a trip to Hope House - a home for formerly abandon young girls that was previously operated by Union Biblica (and is known run by a Peruvian organization called One for Others). We spent the afternoon in activities with the girls before boarding a bus to drive the six hours to the city of Ica.
We arrived on Sunday night and went immediately to bed. The long bus ride and strain of international train made everyone ready for a good night’s sleep.
After settling into our new surroundings, we hit the ground running. Monday was full of preparations. We divided the team into groups of 2-3 volunteers and they practiced their health fair teaching units and prepared for our time in the public schools. The focus of the trip is to take our Team Peru volunteers into public schools in impoverished and underserved communities and provide public health talks or charlas. The talks range from first aid to nutrition to oral hygiene and environmental health. We provide the team with prep kits that act as initial curriculum for the talks and then we encourage them to modify their presentations for the student populations and the communities where we work. Each talk is about 20-minutes in length and we expect each team will provide their talk up to 20-times over the week.
The schools outreach is in collaboration with our longstanding partner Union Biblica. We work in schools selected by the Union Biblica staff and help bolster their credibility with the school director. This year we went to two schools and provided charlas to over 200 children ranging in age from 5 to 12 years old.
In addition to the school’s project, we also provided hygiene kits and water distribution to a community in the desert called the Promised Land. The community, a squatter settlement that stretches for a number of hectares, is at the edge of the desert and as far away from the “formal” city of Ica that you can be without getting lost in the sand hills. We provided water and hygiene kits to a number of families in collaboration with the boys from the Union Biblica Casa Girasoles. It was one of the highlights of the week for many of our volunteers.
Tomorrow we leave for Arequipa. We’ll be working with Father Alex for the next week and continuing to advance our 20-year partnership with the community of Alto Cayma.
Stay tuned for more pictures and updates from the Team Peru 2017 outreach trip.
Thank you for all of your ongoing support.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.