Enjoying the Christmas chocolatada
Although it only feels like a blink of an eye since we last wrote to you, Christmas decorations have long been put away, school has started again, the Cusco rainy season is nearing its end, and we are already nearly halfway through February with an exciting year ahead planned for Picaflor House. So we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the most recent Picaflor highlights, as well as what 2016 holds for Picaflor House and what your generous support is helping us to achieve in Oropesa!
Celebrating Christmas at Picaflor House
When we sent out our previous report, Picaflor House was in the middle of preparing for its annual end of year ‘chocolatada’, which is an important Christmas custom in Peruvian communities involving drinking spiced hot chocolate and eating panetón (sweet fruit loaf). We are happy to say that the event was a big success, with almost 80 children coming to the party. Much to their delight, Papá Noel (Father Christmas) even made an appearance with gifts in hand for each child! Since many families in Oropesa face significant social and economic disadvantages, this Picaflor House event is particularly special as it can be the only opportunity for some children to celebrate Christmas. A big thank you for everyone involved in this wonderful day!
Thank you for our fantastic Christmas fundraising campaign
It wasn’t just festivities at Picaflor House over the past few months, however, as we also ran our first ever Christmas fundraising campaign in November and December. Thanks to you and all of Picaflor’s passionate supporters, the campaign raised £3,600 ($5,400 USD) which will provide vital funding for classes, games, sports, arts and crafts, photography, traditional music and dance for the children in 2016. We also received lots of gifts of educational games, toys and classroom materials. Donors came from a whole spectrum of people – from past Globalteer staff, volunteers, businesses, anonymous donors, and new and old friends of Picaflor House all over the world. With each donor receiving a star on the Picaflor Christmas tree, it was certainly a sparkling affair and we are excited to put these funds into action throughout the year!
Onwards and upwards for Picaflor House’s English programme
One of the next exciting steps ahead for Picaflor House is the redesign of our English curriculum so that we are able to provide the best English language programme we can for the children of Oropesa. While Picaflor House offers a wide range of classes such as maths, hygiene, language, traditional dance and music, art, and sports, Picaflor House also provides English language classes, as well as access to English speaking staff and volunteers. English is an extremely useful resource in this part of Peru, and one that will be fundamental to the children’s futures since a great many jobs in Cusco require English due to the large amount of foreign tourists visiting the area. By having a higher level of English upon finishing school, the children will not only have a wider range of opportunities, but it will also help to break the cycle of poverty in Oropesa and other communities nearby.
The English language redevelopment will include new resources for English classes, such as workbooks, textbooks, flashcards, DVDs and CDs, as well as a new television and laptop for the English classroom. We are also planning to employ a native English-speaking intern to assist in classes and hold extra conversation classes for our most advanced students. We hope to be sharing some exciting news about funding of this initiative very soon!
As you can see, it has been a busy time here at Picaflor House, so thank you again for your support, and for helping the children of Oropesa have a better chance in life. Picaflor House relies entirely on donations and grants, and none of what we have achieved in the past few months, and what we have planned for the year ahead, would be possible without the support of generous donors like you.
Please help spread the word about our work by sharing this with your friends. Thank you!
Some of our donors' christmas decorations!
Seasonal arts and crafts!
Next up - new English teaching materials!