We are an after-school program that operates Monday through Friday. We start preparing the meals and cleaning the halls for the arrival of the children at 3:00 PM. Upon arrival, the children wash their hands and faces to practice good hygiene habits. The teachers and volunteers help them with their homework and check their notebook to ensure they are reaching their goals and are progressing in school. All of the children participate in English language classes provided by native speaking volunteers. After completing their homework, the children are free to play until 5:00 PM, at which time we clean the classroom and tables in preparation for the food. Before departing for the evening, the children brush their teeth and receive hydrating cream for their skin (due to the severe cold at night and the strong sun during the day).
We call Friday a ‘day at the park’ because the children take a break from their schoolwork. On this day we play, run, shout, sing, do sports, and arts and crafts. For the children, this is a time to have fun and play with their peers.
We are located in the San Jerónimo district of Cusco, Peru. This neighborhood is situated half an hour from the city’s historic center. San Jerónimo is a community populated by migrants who were originally settled in the mountains. These families came to San Jerónimo in the hope for a better future, however their reality in the city remains difficult.
Once a month, we invite the children’s parents to talk about their school performance, difficult home situations, and we listen to their problems. We create dialogue about their child’s attitude and performance. Together we search for solutions and ways to support these families. During this time, we organize a workshop about nutrition, hygiene, good attitudes, and education.