South America | Peru | Southern Peru | Cuzco (Cusco) – The First Steps of The Last Lap
Our Cusco project has been on the drawing board for over a year, and the web site beating the drum for our coming centre was running on the Internet for 8 months leading up to our opening – below are the final steps which got us to where we are in early Januart 2005
When Mai completed her term as director at Bruce Peru Trujillo, she went for a break to Cusco, hoping to make contacts for us – she met Olga, who offered help.
Ana Tere & Bruce followed up, and Olga agreed to rent the top floor of her hostel so we could get started in late Dec, if one of our visiting volunteers gave the Okay.
So in Oct & Nov, when Mike finished as volunteer director of our Children’s Centres in Trujillo, he went to check out Olga’s place, and our prospects for helping really poor children in Cusco.
Mike spent a week going all over Cusco, meeting Olga, photographing her top floor and gathering as much information as possible appropriate to what we needed to know before opening our projects in a new city. His report was positive, and so we decided to go ahead and open in Cusco.
So we rented Olga’s top floor beginning 20 Dec., and on that day four new volunteers moved in and began installing a kitchen and fixing the place up – Adam, Rachael (UK), Haley (UK, who had been in Cusco for some weeks already, just waiting for us to arrive), and Kerry (US). They were soon joined by Thomas (Nl); and while the girls scouted out the poor barrios for poor unschooled children and contacts, the boys installed the kitchen, built furniture and painted the place. Bruce (Fr) and Ana Tere (Pe) arrived the 27th, and things were well advanced: meetings were already laid on with the Governor of San Sebastian (thanks to Adam and Thomas, with Rachael also involved), and with the Town hall authorities at Santiago.
On the 28th Elizabeth and Chris (US) arrived to take charge of the Cusco project. In Huaraz they had just spent three months as directors of the Bruce Peru centre there – getting it into excellent condition to better serve the really poor children of that city.
We all began following up on everyone’s leads, and within days we had commitments from San Sebastian and Santiago, where we would open our first satellite centres.
By early January it became evident that Olga’s top floor was going to be too small, and we chanced to find a nice family who have a much larger hostel very near to Cusco’s main square, and who have been hoping for some time to be able to do something to help the poor children of Cusco. So, on the 21st of January, with Olga’s blessings, we will move into much larger quarters.