Please support our mission to build an elementary school in the village of Willoc Alto.
January 5th, 2019 Update
In just 2 short months we have been able to successfully build two classrooms and start construction on a small kitchen and dining room. We have the walls, roof, doors and windows, we need to finish pouring the concrete floors, cover the brick walls with plaster and purchase furniture and school supplies.
Please donate if you can to help us finish the only elementary school in the village of Willoc Alto, so the children don't have to walk hours per day to get an education.
Imagine not being able to read this… That is the stark reality for 250 million children around the world. Illiterate children become illiterate adults, which means nearly 900 million people worldwide lack basic reading, writing and math skills.
My name is Barbara Pal and I’m raising resources to build an elementary school in the lively, indigenous Quechua community of Willoc Alto in Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas. As the only functional school in the village, its purpose will be to empower its residents with education, lifting them out of the staggering worldwide statistics of illiteracy and extreme poverty.
Last year I had the pleasure of spending an entire day with the lovely people of Willoc Alto, picture above. Home to about 150 families, the remote village sits approximately 12,500 feet high in the Andes mountain range.
The village is like a time capsule, where the way of life hasn’t changed much since the flourishing days of the Inca Empire some 600 years ago. It’s astonishing that these resilient people survived centuries of hardships, including the Spanish Conquest which ended their short-lived yet successful reign of the region, and that they were able to protect their language and cultural heritage to pass it down from one generation to another.
But preserving the past and keeping up with modern times has proven to be harder than ever.
Western influence is making its way to this remote area of Peru, but the villagers are determined to prevent the loss of their culture and maintain their beautiful ancient language and customs. The school will enable this mission by having the children learn the traditional Quechua language to preserve the past as well as Spanish, preparing them for the future and giving them tools for self-sustenance so they can thrive and have a better quality of life.
Currently, the children walk 2 hours each way to attend school at a nearby village. The dropout rate is extremely high due to frequent inclement weather of rain/wind/snow. Kids also stop going to school so they are able to help at home and on the fields, planting vegetables and herding alpacas and sheep. Most men of the village work on the Inca trail as porters, leaving their wives and children in charge of the house and making them responsible for their daily survival in the harsh conditions.
The school we are planning to build will have a few small, multi-grade classrooms, a kitchen + dining room, bathrooms, an administrative office and a workshop area so the community can come together to continue their ancient weaving traditions. This will help them preserve their cultural heritage while earning income on their unique, handmade textiles.
I’m teaming up with Nicole and Jose Montes from Killa Expeditions to execute this project. Killa is an amazing trekking company specializing in treks in Peru with a deep social commitment to hiring locals and giving back to their communities. Nicole, Jose and I will personally oversee all aspects of the creation of the school. The money raised will be used to buy the building materials, and the entire Quechua community will come together to physically build the school. Money raised over the goal amount will provide further help maintaining the school, buying supplies and teaching materials.
I humbly request your support for this project. Please help spread the word by sharing this campaign with your friends and family and on your social media channels. Every little bit helps and the people of Willoc Alto will be extremely grateful for your generosity.
Education is a basic human right and one of the most important investments for the future. It reduces poverty, boosts economic growth, increases income, combats diseases, promotes gender equality, reduces maternal deaths and child marriages, and supports peace.
Thank you in advance for your consideration/participation and I hope you have a fantastic day!
- Donna Zagata
- Jill Abrahamsen
- Pete King
- glyn tebbutt
Monroe Township, NJ