Our generous donors are funding the first high school in the ethnic Hapu Q’ero region of Peru. Children will no longer have to leave their families to attend secondary school. This new high school at 12,000 feet elevation in the Andes will bring relief to many families struggling to help their children get a basic education.
Jose and Maria never attended school and cannot read. If one of their alpacas needs medicine, they can’t read the directions on the label. If they travel to Cuzco to sell handicrafts, they can’t read signs, bus schedules, or receipts.
Their children walked several hours every day to attend elementary school in another village. With no secondary school in the region, their oldest son, Heber, had to leave home to live alone far away to attend secondary school. Life was so lonely and difficult for this 13 year old that his mother joined him to cook his meals, wash his clothes in the ditch, and look after him.
Heber’s sister sacrificed as well, staying home from elementary school to help her father in the potato fields, herd the llamas and alpacas, gather firewood and water, and help prepare meals. It was difficult for the family to be apart but a necessary hardship so one child could receive a full education.
This story is replicated all over the Q’ero Nation, where young teens have had to live alone, far from home, with great hardships to access a basic right of all children: school. Now, thanks to our wonderful donors, this family is gratefully united again in their village home, where both children can attend the first secondary school in their tribal reservation.
Construction of several classrooms will begin soon. No time is being wasted. Our two teachers are already holding classes in an old building until the new classrooms are competed.
Let the school bell ring!
Photo :: The new HWF-funded high school in Hapu means that (top) Jose’s family will no longer be separated so that one child can be educated, and (lower) girls can now attend secondary school!