Dear STRIVE-Peru students, interns, parents, and supporters,
First off, we want to extend a huge THANK YOU from all of us at STRIVE and from all the people to whom you helped provide support this summer in Pisac. Between the fundraising that was done before and the hard work done on the ground in Peru, we were able to have a positive, lasting, and sustainable impact on the community. So, thank you and congratulations on a job well done!
As you know, informed philanthropy is a cornerstone of the STRIVE philosophy, so we want to give a clear breakdown of how our groups spent both our person-hours and funds on projects this year. We’ll outline the projects we worked on with the total cost of each and attach a spreadsheet with a budget for all our service work.
Before our first group of high-schoolers arrived, STRIVE staff and college interns hit the ground running. Our group of interns began by learning about service ethics and philosophy, reaching out to local organizations to see where we were qualified and needed, and planning the work to be done the rest of the summer. By the second week of the program, the group had begun a regular schedule of helping as teachers’ assistants at the Tambo de Gozo primary school with a focus on English conversation and Physical Education classes.
STRIVE also began offering a combination of free after-school English and general sports classes open to the community in partnership with the Pisac Community Museum. For the 8 weeks that STRIVE groups were on the ground, we offered dozens of students the opportunity to learn, be active, have fun, and share some of their own culture with our group. Not only did we hope to teach them a bit of English and running, but our group even learned a bit about soccer and Quechua – the indigenous language spoken in a majority of households in the region.
Our intern group even put on a special multi-day project where we tried to teach the importance of environmental awareness and the costs of littering. The group connected a day of trivia-like learning games about the (often unseen) costs of waste, a day of competitive litter pickup (with our local students and STRIVE students teamed up), and finally a day of arts-and-crafts: using plastic bottles, paper, and more to create awesome art projects. It was a blast!
In hopes of continuing the legacy of environmentalism in the Sacred Valley, the group designated $800 to go towards a recycling initiative being led by a local Peruvian and long-time friend of STRIVE. It will be exciting to see the project take off in the years to come!
As part of our ongoing partnership with local organizations, in exchange for providing a space for STRIVE’s after-school programs, bilingual STRIVE interns and staff members helped the Pisac Community Museum with translation work so that their informational signs could be displayed in English and Spanish to increase the reach of the museum.
With the arrival of the high school STRIVErs, we first reviewed the same lessons of how to responsibly serve others and our interns continued their work at Tambo de Gozo School, as well as teaching the high school students all about the STRIVE after-school program.
While all that was happening, our high school group worked on prepping and preparing for the 2nd Annual STRIVE 5K Road Race in Pisac, another way that STRIVE continues in our mission to promote health and athletics to the region’s teen and adult population.
Despite the worst Pisac weather we’ve had in the history of STRIVE, complete with pouring rain, cold temperatures, and slippery, muddy conditions, we were impressed by the strong turnout of runners from Pisac, nearby Cusco, and even a few foreigners who happened to be in town. We also had over 15 niños – aspiring runners under the age of 10 – in the 1st annual Youth Race. It was a muddy affair but hopefully the kids’ enjoyment made up for all the laundry to be done!
Preparations for the race included promotional efforts, meetings with town officials, logistical planning, and early morning race day setup. Be sure to ask about the heroic effort to get the banner up before the race by the start line crew!
To put on this fantastic event, the group spent a total of $538.98
In addition to the 5K planning, each afternoon, STRIVErs were still working hard in our free after-school programs. With as many as 30 local students coming to some of our classes, it could be a lot to handle, but our high school students and college interns did a great job of assigning new students to a class section and making sure that they had the necessary worksheets, notebooks, and pens.
A total of $184.58 was spent on materials for these classes over the course of the summer (mainly promotional materials, photocopies, and notebooks).
Since these afterschool programs have been going on year round since 2014, the group decided to use a portion of their fundraising money to continue paying a teacher to come and lead classes after our groups had left. Thus, a total of $1,500 was allotted for a coach/teacher’s salary during the 10 months of the year that our volunteers won’t be in Pisac.
STRIVErs alo spent two days working with the Ccochawasi Animal Sanctuary, a small, private rehabilitation center for animals that have been rescued from illegal trafficking. The group divided our labors between helping to clean animal pens, prepare food for the animals, and other tasks to help the center run. The group spent $243.08 on tools and transportation for these days.
The group also got physical and showed off their athletic prowess as we helped a local indigenous school to help relocate the organic farm that they help use to help support themselves. The school had recently been told that they needed to vacate the farm property and were left with the gargantuan task of hauling thousands of pounds of equipment, plants, and soil from the farm in the base of the valley up to the school high up on the valley wall. It was hard work! But our gang took to it well and made a real impact in helping the school in what would have been a serious bind.
Mostly, the group contributed sweat and person-hours, but we also paid $159.38 for some help with transportation and tools and the group decided to leave a gift of $200 in their name.
Lastly, as has become tradition, STRIVE hosted our annual “Field Day”: a morning of fun athletic-themed games and activities held at the running track/soccer field of the local public school. STRIVErs split up into small groups, each planning an event (e.g. obstacle course or water balloon toss), setting that up early in the morning, and leading groups of youngsters through the event all day. The day culminated with a free lunch for those who showed up before the infamous STRIVE Mile race for our students, staff, and interns. We had over 50 kids show up and everyone
had a great time!
The group spent a total of $574.46 to continue this well-loved great tradition.
In total, the group spent $4,200.49 on the ground.
All in all, it was an incredibly successful summer with a ton of great work put in by everyone. We will continue monitoring all of our projects via our contacts in Pisac and keep everyone updated on how things are going. We can’t wait to get back to Pisac and continue trying to help the community and also continue learning from them.
Please feel free to read over the attached spreadsheet which gives a detailed breakdown of all of our fundraising expenditure over the course of the program. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or comments; we’re happy to answer anything.
Nic, Tyler, and Rob