Supporting Tambo Foundation in Peru

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Dear members and friends of the Renee O'Connor Outreach Fund;

The village of Huilloq is a small agricultural community in the Patacancha Valley in the Cusco region of southern Peru. A large proportion of men in the community work as porters on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and the women knit fine traditional alpaca and sheep wool weavings, for which the area is well known. The village has been classified by the Peruvian government into the socioeconomic category 1, which corresponds to “poor or extremely poor.” In 2008 we embarked on a project to construct a high school for the Huilloq community. Previously, students from Huilloq who wished to take their studies beyond primary education had no option but to make a daily commute, most often by foot, to the town of Ollantaytambo, over one and a half hours away. The construction of a high school in Huilloq would make secondary education readily available to a much greater portion of the community, and would relieve a significant strain from the students who had, until then, walked miles each morning and afternoon to receive instruction.

Construction began that very same year with the kind support of Chris Howard’s Billionaires Adventure Club. Currently, 2 of the 4 classrooms have been completed and are ready for use, while the remaining 2 rooms require flooring, windows, lighting, electrical fittings, painting, and whiteboards. The total cost for the completion of these two spaces is approximately $3,400. A final fifth room, to be used for the school’s administration, still requires significant work including roofing, plastering, flooring, painting, and electrical fittings. An invoice for this remaining work is pending.  

The school has already received official accreditation from the Ministry of Education, and is already functioning for the 2009 academic year with two classrooms on lease from the Huilloq elementary school.

The ramifications of this project are significant and far-reaching. Secondary education is an uncommon privilege in rural areas of Peru. The lack of access to secondary and tertiary academic institutions is a major factor preventing economic development in the area. Our project represents a long term commitment to the community of Huilloq and its surroundings. Not only by constructing the school, but in monitoring it’s maintenance and evolution, and working towards fostering sustainable development in the area.

On behalf of the Tambo Foundation I would like to thank you for your generosity, and express our honour in collaborating with the Renee O’Connor Outreach Fund.

Warmest regards,


Arthur Holland Michel

Executive Director

Cusco, Peru