Projects History


One pre-school has been taken over by the government, their ongoing mission to provide pre-school in the rural areas, but the quality is drastically reduced, and commonly school is only taught for 3 days vs 5 days! So we currently support 5 pre-schools and are developing a tutoring program to assisit in what they lose. Providing Paccha, Corozon De Naupas & Chaquipampa high school lunches. Our goal is to invest approximately $6,000 in text books for them, @3 books per student. They have never had text books. In the past they have been provided with incomplete photocopied books from the government. More library books on order. Eight scholarship students with new applicants on the way.


Six pre-schools. We tried to add a teacher to a new high school in Patawasi, very remote village, but under the terms that the government met us half way, they didn't. The lunch program proved to be as important as ever. One of the 12 scholarship students, Julian, started a Quinoa planting program, hoping it could involve the community in the future. The first Humana Tourism group of 12 stayed in Paccha for 3 nights, as part of a longer 12 day tour. It really went well ( all things considered) Now it's that many more people who have first hand knowledge of the reality there.


The school year started in mid March. The numbers are still coming in as to how many students we have for the year, it takes awhile for some of the parents to get on schedule. We added a village for 2012 'Chaupihuasi'  it is very exciting to be working with this remote village in the department of Huancavelica, another state like Ayacucho, of extreme poverty. At this point there are Paccha: 28 students, Corozon de Ñaupas 37 students, Chaquipampa 15 students, Culluhuanca 13 students, Hatunpampa 12 students and our new school is Chaupihuasi 15 students. A total of 120 pre-school students so far and more expected! We are also providing lunches to three high schools in addition to the six pre-schools with an aprox total of 450 hot lunches everyday! The scholarship students increased from five to eleven this year.  There are an additional 1,000 books to be delivered to Peru, waiting on handcarries. We're on a roll! With the low dollar and rising costs of supplies in Peru, it's more of a challenge, but we're hopeful all needs will be met.


The 2011 school year went well. We had aprox 92 students in five villages attending pre-school. The village names are Paccha, Corozon de Ñaupas, San Mateo de Hatunpampa, Culluhuanca & Chaquipampa. 275 nutritious lunches were served a day between preschools and two high schools. Over 1000 books were delivered to the villages and the literary program has been well, embraced by young and old. Five scholarships were provided for university and technical schools in Ayacucho. We have added kitchen equipment every year to improve the cooking conditions and cut down on the smoke filled environment. The baños are being improved little by little.


In 2010 Comunidad launched their bookmobile project.  Approximately 650 books were hand carried to Peru by the ArtAndes/Spirit of the Andes travelers.  This is the start of the book trunk mobile project funded in memory of Wally Ebertz, a founder of Comunidad and a passionate reader!  The concept of borrowing a book, taking it home and reading to their parents who cannot read, and returning the book in exchange for another, is a new concept not only in Peru, but in most developing countries. 
During the November visit, Comunidad supporter Paula Chuchvara made her second visit to the Paccha area along with board members Humberto Valdivia and Melanie Ebertz.  Paula is an administrator of a large medical clinic in Webster City, Iowa, and has expertise in the health field.  Very thorough monthly charts are kept on the children’s height and weight in the four villages which Comunidad supports pre-school programs.  This is not only to monitor the results of our daily lunch program, but also to alert us of any other health issues that need to be addressed.  “The increased body mass of the children is VERY impressive” according to Paula’s observations.  The new local nurse we interviewed also had encouraging feedback.  “There is a tremendous difference in the health of the kids who go through the foundation’s program versus those who don’t”; we are definitely seeing progress!

Meanwhile, during the school year the logistics and details of managing food for 215 lunches and education for four preschools and two high schools are demanding and ongoing.  Board member Pam Hoff spent two weeks in the villages teaching World Geography.  During that week she was joined by two super enthusiastic volunteers; Jesann Spani and Claudiu Anton, from San Diego University.  They saw the primary and secondary schools cooking over a wood-fire to feed the children each day.  They plastered and painted the inside and outside of the kitchen, bought two gas stoves, thereby saving the dwindling trees nearby and quite probably the lungs of the mothers cooking each day. 


In 2009 Communidad provided education to 81 kindergarten students and provided 370 nutritious lunches per day.  The nutrition program is showing very positive results in terms of monitoring weight and performance improvements amongst our students.

Two high school teachers were hired by Comunidad at the start of the school year for the village of Corozon de Naupas, which is also where board member and teacher, Pam Hoff taught geography for three weeks in July 2009.  This was the students first hands-on lesson and a great cultural exchange opportunity for all.

Much of what we accomplished in 2009 was made possible by proceeds from our first very successful fundraising event held at the ArtAndes studio in Northeast Minneapolis on April 25, 2009.  We plan to make this an annual affair.

Three more pre-school's added for the school year, bringing the total to four preschools.

In July, 2008 board members Don Ball, Pam Hoff and Humberto Valdivia visited the five schools supported by Comunidad. Four of the schools are preschool programs. The original preschool is in Paccha, and the three others are in nearby communities. We also currently support a high school science teacher in the furthest community from Paccha. In the past we have supported high school teachers in Paccha, and stand committed to keeping the high school program there running to its maximum potential.

The visit was two fold – to see how we have been successful thus far, and to see what else is needed. We can all be congratulated that our former preschool, now primary school children in Paccha, outperform students that have not attended preschool with us. We also determined that supplies were needed in most of the classrooms as well as lunch for one village entirely (80 students), plus a lunch supplement in another village. That means we will provide nutritional support in 3 of the 4 villages, aprox 200 lunches. Good job donors!

Paula Chuchvara and her family are one of the many actively involved Comunidad Foundation donors.  They recently held an extremely successful fundraising campaign in conjunction with their church in Webster City, Iowa, and just paid a personal visit to the community of Paccha, Peru, the week of February 10th.  The foundation is extremely grateful for the Chuchvara support and the insightful perspective gained from their personal visit.  Click here for Paula’s firsthand account of this recent visit.


Comunidad paid the salaries of 4 teachers, while the government continued its support as well. Enrollment has grown to 170 students. The foundation also started the lunch and scholarship programs (see current projects). A Pre-school was started in Paccha.


Comunidad paid the salaries of 3.5 teachers, while the government contributed the salaries of 3 teachers and an administrator. We have met and observed these teachers in action, and they are extremely dedicated and devoted.


The foundation continued to support the ongoing education needs of the secondary school in Paccha, paying the salaries of 5 teachers. This school year saw more support from the local government as well. After 3 years and the eagerness of 150 students to learn, the Department of Ayacucho began contributing toward teachers’ salaries.


In December 2004, Paccha’s secondary school graduated its first senior class. Among those first graduates was the mayor of the town, who at age 38 had never had the opportunity to attend school beyond the sixth grade. In 2004, we supported 150 students by paying the salaries of five full-time teachers.


In its second year, the enrollment of Paccha’s secondary school, and the enthusiasm of the community, continued to grow beyond anyone’s expectations. The foundation funded three full-time teachers and supplies during this school year.


The first year of Paccha’s secondary school, with 60 students and two full-time teachers, fully funded and supplied by Comunidad. Prior to the school’s creation, education beyond the sixth grade was only available to those willing to walk 2 hours one way or those families who could afford to send their children away to live with relatives in Lima or Ayachucho. In reality, most kids went immediately to work in the fields and start families.


At the request of town residents, Comunidad donated a diesel-powered grain mill to Paccha. For a people that devoted most of its energies to daily survival, the mill offered a way to get to the next stage. Instead of spending hours milling grain by hand, they could now have it milled in town. They can also have some of it milled for sale at the market. This one machine represents hours of time and energy that can now be devoted to endeavors such as education, entrepreneurship and community improvements.


In 2000, we first visited Paccha and learned of the devastation wrought by the Shining Path’s war with the government of Peru (read “A Durable Weave”). We began to brainstorm and discuss with the villagers what we could do to help them. From day one, we have made sure that the residents have had complete involvement and final say in the projects we have worked on with them.

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