Help send Laura to Peru!

Hi everyone! I'm Laura, a junior at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, CA. This summer, I'll be spending my July interning in the Peruvian High Amazon with Professor Frederique Apffel-Marglin of Wesleyan University and 13 college and graduate students.

The purpose of the internship is to teach students to build a backyard oven that recreates biochar soil, the most fertile soil in the world. The practice of using biochar soil in agriculture was said to be used 2,000 years ago by pre-Columbian Amazonians but has only recently been rediscovered. By covering burning biomass with soil, the biochar process produces soil that prevents greenhouse gases from escaping into the atmosphere, lasts for thousands of years, and provides an alternative to damaging agricultural methods like slash-and-burn to replenish degraded lands.

In addition to the chance to mitigate climate change, I'm thrilled by the immersive cultural opportunities that the internship has to offer. After 5 years of studying Spanish, I'll be able to take advantage of language as a portal to culture. In Peru, we will stay overnight in nearby indigenous communities, where we can not only experience indigenous ceremonies and learn who to make indigenous crafts, but also teach and play with local children. Some of these communities have no electricity and fresh water or have only recently incorporated these modern technologies into their ways of living. As an American who's lived a relatively privileged and modern lifestyle, I would love to challenge myself to live closer to the earth.

My summer internship in Peru will be my chance to experience connections with other humans and the Earth. Everything "“ learning to love and respect land and other life forms, swimming in the waterfall, playing with the indigenous children, learning how to cook and farm, reading and thinking in hammocks, and even trying to catch tarantulas "“ looks fascinating and mind-opening.

I'm organizing this crowdfund initiative because while my parents are my most supportive cheerleaders, this internship is about more than myself and my family. The nature of the internship means that it pursues environmental and cultural sustainability and I believe that it has the potential to be economically/financially sustainable as well. Climate change is a shared responsibility and the combination of cultivating relationships with humans and the land in Peru this summer will help shape me to become a better citizen of the world.

Your donation will help fund my internship as well as my flights to and from Lima and Tarapoto, Peru (not to mention one very happy girl!). I truly appreciate any amount of support and I'll be sure to keep you updated on my trip and what I'm learning!

One very happy girl with her squash:
  • Anonymous 
    • $80 
    • 84 mos
  • Eileen Ke 
    • $100 
    • 84 mos
  • Xiaochen Tang 
    • $300 
    • 85 mos
  • Jessica Gui 
    • $150 
    • 85 mos
  • Greg/Jenny Schmidt/Lyman 
    • $500 
    • 85 mos
See all


Laura Chen 
Fremont, CA
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more