Peru has been undergoing severe rainy weather the past few months with mudslides, rivers overflowing and infrastructure collapsing. Arequipa has been spared the brunt of the rain although some of the roads and bridges have collapsed and water has been cut for almost a week because of broken pipes and almost all the city has been without running water. Classes officially began at the beginning of March but the Government has cancelled all classes since last Thursday as it it’s considered unsanitary to have the children in locations without access to water in bathrooms. However IRID is a home as well as a day school and the Cuna Jardin has taken children whose parents have no alternative for childcare, both are coping with the lack of running water with delivery from water trucks. Once the dirt roads have been restored we are planning on making home visits the second week of April. We will also be visiting IRID again and will send an update on both agencies in April.
It’s Fall and traditionally the end of the rainy season, but this year the forecast is for the rains to continue until the end of April. Once water is restored the Cuna Jardin will have more than 120 children attending classes, work still needs to be done on the ceiling in some of the classrooms which buckled because of the rain and the roof will need to be repaired and a moisture barrier added. All of the classrooms also need new chalk boards. Although there is a small fee that parents are asked to pay at the Cuna Jardin, many families, especially women raising their children without support from the fathers, are not able to pay anything. As well, the fee only covers a small portion of the costs, the funds we donate help to cover the costs of children whose parents can’t pay as well as the difference between the fee and the on-going expenses.
Photos from the Cuna Jardin visit can be seen here: