SEASONS GREETINGS FROM ANDEAN ALLIANCE 2011

 
We at Andean Alliance and those involved with the Yurac Yacu project wish to extend a whole hearted greeting to you all and give thanks for all your support over the years and for the years to come.
 
It has been an incredible year with non-stop activity. We would like to share the year at a glimpse with you. Since our formation in 2004 we are seeing great results from great labor.
 
December 2010 saw the opening of the first Educational Room which is used as a Pre-school, or Early Childhood Center. It is bright and welcoming and has had a fluctuation of 7-14 children. We work five mornings a week with a program that combines concepts from Montessori, teaching experiences from our volunteers and mixed with local knowledge. It has been an extreme pleasure to see how the children are developing over the months and years and their parental support is increasing. No small thanks go to our volunteers Berta, Lila, Catriona and Karen who have now gone on to other activities. We are now working with Yessenia, a lovely young woman from the area and Sussana, a Peruvian pre-school teacher. (Karen and Berta)
 
In July we had the pleasure of the 2nd visit from Aiglon College from Switzerland. They have been staunch supporters of what we are doing and have come with able bodied and motivated young people who worked this year and leveled the playground area, built the fence, painted the murals, built the swing set, worked with the kids, played soccer and participated in the thank you Pachamanca. It is also to be mentioned the donation left, which is allowing us to continue with the Early Childhood area.
 
Our good friends from Sombrilla International Development Society in Edmonton, who with a strong conviction of what we are doing and years of fundraising and fund matching, have sent a generous donation which has allowed for the building and completion of the second educational room with some left over to use for the future expansion of the Yurak Yacu project. Thanks are not enough but thanks is what we have. We look forward to Sarah’s visit in January and February 2012 when she will take part in the official opening of the center.
 
A Calgary Women’s University Group kindly gave a $500.00 donation this year to be used towards literacy. The money is being used to purchase books for preschool books, young adult, atlases, how to books, dictionaries and books for illiterate mothers.
 
We also had the fortune to connect with the Roosevelt School in Lima who are working at supporting the new room by donating 4 used computers and audio visual equipment, hosting a book drive to gather 300-500 gently used Spanish books for kids and provide shelving. They plan on sending a school group in March 2012 to bring books make shelves and interact with the kids here. The goal is to make this an annual event for the school and Andean Alliance in order to combine social project work with outdoor education.
 
In addition we hosted students and their very motivated teacher “Harry” from Markam College in Lima, they came in groups of 15 each morning and each afternoon for six days and hauled rock, leveled ground, dug holes and shared the labor with our neighbors to continue the advancement of the school. A big Thanks to all.
 
Since 2004 we have worked with the local Rivas School and are still involved. Each Wednesday morning a volunteer is there to help with computer skills, literacy comprehension and general reading to the young 3-5 year olds. We also continue the healthy nutrition program in the mornings. This year we took the kids to Pastoruri, a famous receding glacier, and we hiked up to 5000 meters and tasted and touched the snow! It was a lifetime experience for them.
 
We believe in helping children in the local schools to have the opportunity to see more of the area they live in and for this we are helping, for the 3rd year now, the grade 6 class from the Uquia School of a 2 day trip to the city of Chimbote on the coast.
 
Diana participated in a workshop in October in the Sacred Valley called “Ania”, Tierra de Los Ninos, TiNi, a wonderful program that connects children and environment from a home, school and community level. As a promoter, we plan, with the help of volunteers make this a reality here. www.mundodeania.org
 
Aside from Education we continue to work with our neighbors to repair roads, look at drinking water systems, wind power for electricity, meet with government officials to keep them on their toes and do what they say they will do, work with the National Park for updates on regulations and generally teach by doing and look always on how to integrate and encourage people to participate.
 
July was the 7th annual soccer and volleyball championship that Andean Alliance sponsors and it was the best turn out ever! There were over 25 teams of all levels between 10-18 years of age. They winners received uniforms and Medals and many came to watch and sell their food to the crowd.
 
We must not forget the famous Chocolatadas that continue to grow with interest from the kids of course but also from local young people who enjoyed them in the past years and want to give something back, that is a tremendous thing to see. This activity, which provides games, hot chocolate, a small gift and bag of sweets for over 250 children and 50 elderly, would never happen if it weren’t for volunteers and donations of time, food, gifts and money to purchase what we need. Wayne is the master of the games and Diana organizes the food, gifts and volunteers. Please, if you wish to help make a difference at Christmas, we would gladly accept your donations.
 
So, in closing, all that we do is because we believe that many small efforts can make big differences in the lives of people. Every opportunity creates a connection, every connection grows and solidifies, and people become empowered and realize too that they themselves can be the difference.
 
We do strongly rely on volunteers as their presence and energy given here makes a difference to each individual who comes into contact with them. Every moment leaves an impression and we have much to give. Should you know people who have time, skills and interest we would love to hear from them.
 
Finally, your generous donations have been used well and 100% goes directly to what we do. If you wish to contribute please contact us.
 
May the world shed light on you and fill you with joy and hope and peace of mind for today is the beginning of tomorrow and tomorrow is what we are helping people prepare for.
 
With Love and Faith in Mankind
 
Diana y Wayne
Andean Alliance / www.andeanalliance.org