Segundo Masifuen Education Fund

The Alto Mayo Valley, an important ecological hotspot located in the headwaters of the Amazon River in the San-Martin district of Peru, is home to ninety Quechua farming families.  They each have individual ownership of land parcels used for farming each ranging from 1 to 20 hectares.  Their organic farming methods and traditional way of life  help to preserve the threatened environment.

My name is Gordon South and my brother-in- law and I own a cocoa farm near a small town called Shanao in the tropical Andes of Peru.   For the last two years, we have been working with the local community of indigenous farmers to build the membership of the local cooperative. We have developed close relationships with many of the farmers.  One of the farmer’s sons is named Segundo Masifuen.  His family owns a small farm, where he and his siblings help his mother and father make their livelihood.  At home, they speak Quechua as their primary language. The family lives in a palapa on the farm, where eight sleep in one room and cook over a wood fire in an open kitchen. They live meal to meal and grow all their own food, including beans, plantains, coconut and yucca.

From the time Segundo was six years old, he went to school in an adjacent town called Lamas. Most weeks, he would stay with his aunt during the weekdays and go back home to help his parents farm.  He was able to complete high school in a larger city named Tarapoto. His goal is to go to college and study to become a police officer. This would allow him both to obtain a stable career path and support his family’s wellbeing. 

Your generous donations will be used to enroll Segundo in a three-year program.  The money will cover the course cost, a uniform, and a small stipend.  While he has been approved for the program, the tuition is required before final admission and there are no student loans available. This money is needed to be paid in the middle of January 2017.

Graduating from college has been a goal of Segundo’s since he was a child. His family has taught him to have a strong work ethic.  The prospect of working as a police officer is a career path where he feels he can use his skills to help others. His main influence in his life is his father, who has always empowered him to realize his potential.  Segundo hopes to make him proud and help his family. His educational path will directly sustain his family’s livelihood as native farmers, conservationists and community leaders for generations to come.

 “I am grateful for the support of others in realizing my dreams.  I am grateful for them caring that I may succeed and make a positive difference in my community and family. I will strive to make a difference in helping others and honor this opportunity.  I hope you can come to Shanao to learn about my culture and experience all the beauty of the forest.” Segundo Masifuen


Michael Caines
Boulder, CO

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