Peru Week 3: English Class

During our third week in Peru, we got the chance to teach an English class to the rambunctious kids in the Huntapausqa organization. Before going in we did a little bit of prep work and made flashcards of for all the children. Going into it we weren’t sure what level of English skills the kids had so we ranged from the most basic skills(counting numbers) to a little bit harder skills(formal questions). Most of the children new numbers up to ten and some basic greetings like HELLO and BYE, but besides that, they weren’t too confident. We started off our lessons by writing the translations from Spanish to English on the board and then going through each phrase. Next, we went through the room and had each individual kid pronounce each word. Some children were more eager to learn English than others and were even taking notes. Something we could work on in the future is adding more actions or games. We didn’t really account for the fact that some kids couldn’t read yet. It was a great experience and has a lot of potential for the future.

We also helped Huntapasqa prepare their water tank for a Pollada (They sold cooked chicken for donations). Since they live on a hill, if you want some kind of running water, you put a water tank at the top of the hill and run a hose down. Then some workers come around and you pay them to fill up your tank with clean water. They had the water tank in place, but it hadn’t been covered, so it was coated in dirt on the inside and filled with rainwater. Nic ended up hopping inside the tank to make sure it was sparkling clean!

 

At the end of the week, we took a little trip to explore the north of Peru to a place called Huaraz! It was beautiful. The altitude was about 10,000 feet and we went on a hike up to 18,000 feet. We were definitely not prepared, but it was worth it.

  


Peru Week 2: Design Thinking

As many of you probably don’t know, the Peru football team (*cough cough* soccer) hasn’t been to the American Cup Finals in 44 years, but they made it this year, and Lima was insane. We have never seen so many people watching a soccer game in our lives. Even during the semifinals, we were walking down the streets and there was nobody out that wasn’t watching the game. People were crowded around every TV there was. If you had a TV, it was turned on to the game. Every store had people circled around it, watching intently. We went to a cafe 15 minutes before the game was over, and we watched the shootout between Peru and Chile! It was super intense. When Peru made it to the final, Miraflores (a district in Lima, and where Nic and I live) closed a street and set up a screen so everyone could watch the game together. Peru didn’t win, but they did score a point against Brazil, and I’m pretty sure the whole city shook.

 

This week, Nic and I held two design thinking workshops. One for the “Promotores” (Nataly, Rocio, and Eveli), so they could take part in it, and one for the mothers in their community in Pamplona Alta (30 women showed up!). It started off shaky because even though I can speak a decent amount of Spanish, It was very hard for me to answer questions off of the “script”. I could give them a very vague answer, but sometimes I didn’t even know what their question was. No one there knew English, so I couldn’t even use my Spanglish skills. After a while, we got into a better swing of things, but they struggled to come up with solutions, and with my limited Spanish vocabulary, I struggled to help them. In the future, when we have Design Thinking workshops, I think I’ll get a translator because I could give an okay description on how to accomplish the task, but I think they missed the huge point of the workshop. I couldn’t get them to realize they can start a program to fix some of these issues they have. For example, one of the problems they have is that a lot of people just throw their dirty water in the street because they don’t have plumbing, and since they live in the hills where nothing grows, it makes everything really gross and mucky and hard for “cars” to go up. One of their solutions was to tell people “don’t throw your water in the street”, but when they do that they aren’t really fixing a problem. Some other problems they talked about was the trash being thrown in the street, the stray dogs, fathers not being there for their kids, not having plumbing or electricity, not being able to get a house in your name, and not having many plants. In the end, we don’t think they understood that they could be the ones to be the change, and that was the whole part of the workshop. We have another design thinking workshop in the future, so we plan on updating the process and using Carlos as a translator.

Design Thinking with the Promotores

Peru Week 1: Making a Plan

Throughout our first week in Peru, we met a lot of people and saw a lot of sights (and tried Picarones for the first time! A fried sweet potato delicacy). In the first few days, we got familiar with the area and met with two possible project sites: Huntapasqa and Casa de Panchita.

CASA DE PANCHITA

Casa de Panchita is an organization with a well-established structure in the district of Lince in the city of Lima. This organization does a lot of things that involve teaching children. This includes English classes and a variety of different workshops that go over important topics that aren’t necessarily taught in their schools. Things like proper diet, cleaning, and sexual education. This week we helped them transition into a new office space and organize donations into gift bags for kids. We hope to have a design thinking workshop put together for them, but first, we will help them prepare and celebrate their 3oth anniversary on Sunday, July 15th!

 

 

 

HUNTAPASQA

Huntapasqa is an NGO in the lower-income area of Pamplona (Pamplona Alta). This organization has built a safe area for the local children to come to after school to get help on their homework. They also try to incorporate educational activities that are fun for the kids. A lot of the children in the area don’t have ideal home lives and live with single mothers. Huntapasqa brings the children together and creates a community where they can always reach out to for help. So far, we have had several meetings with the leaders of Huntapasqa to see what their organization is about and how we can benefit them the most. The first concern they already knew they needed help with is designing a website where people can reach out to them to sign up their kids in the program, options for volunteering, and a way to accept donations online. Over this next week, we will be hosting a design thinking workshop with the Huntapasqa leaders and other adults in the community to dig deeper and learn the best ways we can help them and make this a site for Pavlis projects for years to come. In the following pictures, you can see (from left to right) Nic and I were in Eveli’s house with our site coordinator, Carlos Amador, and the three women that started Huntapasqa, Nataly, Rocio, and Eveli. The next two pictures show the outside of their site in Pamplona Alta (in San Juan of Miraflores) and the last picture is of all the kids that participate in the afterschool session.

           


Meet the Peru Team!

A note from Lexi:

It’s crazy to think that we are leaving for Peru in a little more than 2 weeks! We will be arriving in Lima, Peru late on Monday, June 24th. I’m so excited to get the feel of the city and make some new friends abroad. I am also ready to be motivated and motivate others on making a change in my and their community. Many people have this stereotype that other countries need our help (and yes maybe some do), but we kind of force our help on others and we think that we know best, especially when we just give other people things without educating them on how they can do it themselves. The thing I hope to accomplish is to encourage and motivate at least one Peruvian to make a change in their community. Keep reading to learn about me and Nic before we go on this grand adventure!

 

Lexi is a 4th year studying Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech. She studied abroad in Valencia, Spain in the Fall of 2018. As a new University Innovation Fellow, she is focused on creating a zero-waste culture on Michigan Tech’s campus. She is also involved in Pavlis Honors College where she is in the Global Leadership Pathway, and she is a Pavlis Ambassador. Lexi is beyond excited to be on the Pavlis Pilot Team for the Lima, Peru Site during Summer 2019. Stepping out of her comfort zone and gardening are among some of Lexi’s interests.

 

 

Nic is a fourth-year Biological Sciences Pre-Health major going for a minor in Psychology at Michigan Technological University. Nic moved around a lot throughout elementary school but ended up finding a home in Lake Linden, Michigan about twenty minutes away from Michigan Technological University. He is apart of Pavlis Honors College along with Health Occupations Students of America and Mont Ripley Ski Patrol. In his spare time, Nic likes to spend to be outside doing things like run, snowboard, skateboard, swim, and bike.