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March ’24 Newsletter

Greetings our PLB friends!

In February, the Project Left Behind team revisited Peru after a gap of four years. The country’s beauty was as awe-inspiring as ever, especially at the end of their summer season when the vegetation and flowers were in full bloom. We had the privileged opportunity to connect with several families residing in rural communities. The journey involved a challenging drive of over two hours, reaching up to an elevation of 16,000 feet in the mountains.

 

 

 

Above: a beautiful view on our way up the mountain

 

Our expedition involved an adventurous car ride on a long dirt road, followed by a

30-minute walk on a narrow dirt trail. The house, a marvel of natural architecture, was constructed purely from mud and clay with no access to modern amenities like running water or electricity. The floors, too, were made entirely of dirt. Despite the limited resources, the warm-hearted homeowner welcomed us graciously, treating us to a snack and a cup of traditional coca tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sisters Gabby and Rosi (below) residing in the Sacred Valley, now oversee the children’s home, Hogar Semillas, which we back. They conduct biannual visits to the families, ensuring the parents are well and the dwelling is safe and healthy for the children.

 

 

The image below showcases a student from Hogar Semillas, adorned in his traditional attire. It offers a glimpse into the cultural heritage and traditions upheld by the students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mother (above) presented a tapestry she is currently weaving. She anticipates that the entire process will span over a duration of three months to reach completion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During our visit to the second home, we were treated to a traditional meal. The menu consisted of potatoes and cuy, which is a dish prepared with guinea pig.

 

 

Cuy, or guinea pig meat, has a rich history in Peruvian cuisine, predating the arrival of European colonizers who introduced chicken, pigs, and cows to South America. The importance of this delicacy in the pre-colonial diet cannot be overstated. The tradition of consuming Cuy has persisted, making it a culinary staple in modern day Peru. It’s fascinating to note that the Incas are believed to have domesticated guinea pigs over 5000 years ago. This long-standing practice establishes Cuy as a symbol of Peru’s culinary heritage.

 

 

During our visit to the Sacred Valley, we had the opportunity to stop by the children’s home. The welcome we received was truly heartwarming, with joyful faces and affectionate embraces greeting us upon our arrival. Although not all the children had returned to the home yet, it was a pleasure to observe those present engaging in lively games in the yard.

 

a new trampoline!

 

The swing set that our dedicated team of volunteers meticulously sanded and stained a few years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The garden stands in tribute to Isabel, the founder of the children’s home, who unfortunately succumbed to cancer in 2020. This verdant space serves as a beautiful testament to her enduring legacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The outdoor oven is currently in a state of disrepair and necessitates either replacement or refurbishment. Also, the home’s roof has shown signs of leaks which require immediate attention.

 

Emerson and his sister, both former students of Hogar Semillas, are now university students in Cusco. Emerson is nearing completion of his nursing degree, with just one semester left, while his sister is studying Environmental Engineering.

Despite their humble beginnings in a remote mountain home, they are the first in their family to attend university. This significant achievement wouldn’t have been possible without YOUR support of Project Left Behind.

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