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Evergreen and sister brand Scenic are proud sponsors of a community project in Tanccac in Peru's Sacred Valley. The project is to build a much needed new kitchen for the local school which was the first in the valley and has been operating for 50 years. The project is still a work in progress so project manager Alessia tells us about its impact on the community.
When was the community established?
Tanccac was founded as a community in 1972 but the land was already inhabited by the Huacayuvilqui people. The school was built in what used to be a barn.
What do people in the community do as a profession?
The men dedicate their entire lives to agriculture. Some work in construction in Cusco and Ollantaytambo and when this happens the women take their place and work in agriculture. The women are mostly housewives and travel to Machu Picchu to sell vegetables and their stock to the hotels and restaurants.
How many children go to the school?
There are 12 boys and 16 girls who are mainly from the local community but several come from neighbouring villages.
How many teachers are at the school?
Three. Mrs Silvia teaches Grades 1 and 2, Mrs Francisca teaches Grades 3 and 4 while Mr Odilon teaches Grades 5 and 6.
What is a typical day for the children?
Their classes run from the morning until late in the afternoon so they need to have lunch at school. A good balanced meal is essential for their educational performance. After their classes finish, the children often help their parents on the farm or help their mum with household chores.
What subjects do the children study?
In first grade they study mathematics, language, science and environment. In the higher grades they study religion, education, physical education, civic and social sciences.
Have any children gone on to further study, and if so, where?
All our students are in the primary level. When they finish elementary school they go to secondary school in Ollantaytambo and San Isidro de Chilca. Many have ambitions to continue their studies and we have students who are studying civil engineering, tourism
and accounting at the San Antonio Abad National University of Cusco.
What does this project mean for the community?
The kitchen and dining room was in need of repair as it was the original kitchen which was 50 years old. We are so excited about this project as it's an opportunity to improve the nutrition of the children which leads to better results in their studies and subsquently opens doors for their
future. Thank you Evergreen for making this possible.
What else does the school need?
The school always needs stationery, technology like computers and internet access, books for the school library, sporting goods and furniture like shelves, desks and whiteboards.
What traditional meals are prepared by this kitchen?
A typical meal would include menestras (lentil stew), quinoa, beans, lentils, corn and potatoes.
Can you tell the readers about one of your many success stories...
In 2013 the sixth graders of the school won an academic contest amongst all schools in the province of Ollantaytambo which was a very proud moment for the school indeed!
Visit this school and the Sacred Valley when you book an Evergreen South America tour. Visit www.evergreentours.com.au for more information.