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.
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.
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.