PLB supported student shares his Covid science project.
It is impossible to talk about PLB’s efforts in Peru without zeroing in on Covid, since few countries have been hit as hard. Peru was one of the first Latin American nations to go into lockdown, but in this complex nation of ancient and modern cultures as well as starkly contrasting mountain, desert and jungle landscapes, lockdown was difficult to enforce. Public health officials instructed Peruvians to shop in bulk so they could quarantine, for example, but many people lack refrigeration, and daily outings for ingredients are also a cultural norm.
Also it didn’t help that Peru experienced political instability last year, and in one week in late 2020, three new presidents were elected. As a result, hundreds of people spilled into the streets in massive protests, creating optimal conditions for the virus to spread. And to make matters worse, the country is now dealing with the spread of the more contagious Brazilian variant of the virus.
“For the most part we are in worse shape than we were a year ago,” said Valeria Paz-Soldan, who runs public health programs in Peru said in the medical journal The BMJ.
PLB planting seeds of hope during Covid
Hogar Semillas de Jesus, a PLB labor of love in the Sacred Valley of Peru.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ― Fred Rogers
PLB is proud to be a helper in Peru. With the support of our for-profit partner NuttZo along with your generous donations, we’ve been lucky to lay a groundwork of support long before Covid hit. We have been visiting the school for years, and have also led multiple voluntour trips where visitors got to connect with students, and contribute to school projects like vegetable growing and landscaping.
Hogar Semillas de Jesus students experienced a severe educational setback in 2020. Peru’s lockdown meant they had to leave school and trek to remote mountain homes with limited cell tower or internet access. Even though the school, with PLB’s help, bought cells phones for students and helped families access internet services, the distance learning infrastructure was far from ideal.
Now students are trickling back to school, and it’s time to play catch-up by giving them the educational resources and nutritious meals they need to thrive.
As Chinese philosopher Confucius famously said:“If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.”