November 9, 2010

Service in Huaraz

At the comedor

Our travel schedule has kept us from posting lately, so apologies for the delayed update. Kevin, Heather, and sus hijos visited Huaraz at the end of October to check in with Lauren, Derek, and Paul, who are doing service in this mountain community.

Huaraz (pop. 120,000) is about 260 miles from Lima and is the capital of the state of Ancash. The city itself is more than 10,000 feet above sea level, and the surrounding mountains rise far higher, making for spectacular scenery. (Peru’s highest peak, the nearby Huascarán, is over 22,000 feet—nearly 2,000 feet above North America’s highest, Alaska’s Denali). Today the area around Huaraz is known for outdoorsy activities like mountain biking and climbing, but perhaps it’s better known for the 7.8 earthquake that decimated the city in 1970.

Derek is working with World Vision International, where he is assisting the staff at their office in the nearby town of Tarica and venturing out to village schools to help present workshops to teachers and students on physical, social, and mental health.

Lauren is at Asociacion Alli Willaqui (AWI/the Good News Association) where she is, among other things, putting her filmmaking skills to use. The day after we visited she was directing a video (in Quechua!)  that was scheduled to appear on AWI’s weekend TV program.

Paul is working in a church-run comedor that helps address the problem of child malnutrition by providing lunch to dozens of low-income kids six days a week. He is also working one-on-one several days a week with a special-needs student, helping him learn colors, numbers, and letters.

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