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Date started: September, 2005

Location: 10km from the centre of Cuzco.

Description: Pumamarca is a small agricultural community located in the mountain region above Cuzco. The community members survive on their agricultural products – fresh flowers, maiz, potatoes and other vegetables, which they sell at local markets in Cuzco. The producers have access to plots that are farmed continuously year-round for maximum produce and are also conitnuously cutting down trees. Both these practices are causing erosion and a decrease in the fertility value of the land.

Producers rely on weekly local rural markets which, because of the region's isolation, appear as the main place for exchange and transactions. Because the community does not have any funds, the Department of Education in Peru does not support the local primary school, and it is left to fend for itself. The benefit of non-agricultural activities is that they bring about a more stable and better time-distributed income stream. Women play an essential role in developing such activities, particularly small shops, cattle raising, flower markets and in the craft industry.



  • The school urgently needs to be renovated.
  • There were only classes for kids up to grade four.
  • More teachers were needed to separate the grades.
  • The school had no learning or sports materials.

Health & Wellbeing:

  • The community often ran out of and had no access to safe drinking water.
  • The kids were not getting a healthy and nutritious diet, which Peruvian schools are meant to provide.
  • The community had no access to medical facilities.


  • Because the school facilities were so terrible, most of the children were moving into Cuzco to go to school or find work.
  • Families were breaking up, and none of the younger generation was staying within the community to work the fields.
  • Alcoholism and domestic violence were problems within the community as a result of unemployment.


Since September 2005, school attendance has risen from 14 children to 150 children within kindergarten to Grade 6 classes. Volunteers working side-by-side with the local community have completed the following projects:

School Construction:

  • Seven classrooms for primary school
  • Two classrooms for kindergarten
  • Electricity installed into all classrooms.
  • Perimeter fence and secure gate
  • Four flushing toilets with septic tank
  • Fully-equipped kitchen with gas cooker and storage.
  • Soccer goals, volleyball net and basketball ring, swings, balancing beam, monkey bar, see-saws.
  • Water reservoir constructed and providing filtered water.
  • New taps and sinks to receive filtered water.
  • Two hot showers
  • Vegetable garden with greenhouse
  • Fence to protect vegetable garden
  • Workshop for tools
  • Gravel laid within school grounds
  • Flower beds inside and outside of school
  • Performing stage
  • Two new classrooms and kitchen for kindergarten
  • School kitchen for primary school
  • Kitchen for kindergarten
  • Computer centre
  • Chicken coop
  • School dining and storage area
  • Four flushing toilets for kindergarten
  • Install a bread oven.
  • Library.
  • Two covered eating areas for the kindergarten and primary students.

School Education:

  • 150 students attending (40 of these are in kindergarten).
  • 19 kids (100%) moving on to secondary school.
  • Eight teachers (2 supplied by Peru's Challenge and 6 supplied by the Dept. of Education).
  • Satisfactory supply of educational materials.
  • Lesson plans and curriculum finalised for classes in English, art, sport, music, dance and theatre.
  • Pumamarca School recognised as legitimate primary school in the Cuzco area.
  • Pumamarca dance group won second place in traditional dance competition in Cuzco against 32 other schools that complete every year.
  • End of year excursions for 50 kids to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca

Health, Hygiene and Social Behaviour:

  • Peru's Challenge providing fresh fruit every day.
  • School providing nutritious lunch every day to kindergarten and primary school kids.
  • Teeth cleaning every day.
  • Face washing and application of sorbeline cream.
  • Quarterly parasite treatments.
  • Quarterly dental visits and follow-up treatment.
  • Quarterly doctor visits and follow-up treatment.
  • Medication supplied when needed.
  • Clothing given or made when necessary and shoes.
  • Volunteers receive hugs on arrival and departure.
  • Recess and lunch are now a hive of activity and regular physical education classes are popular.
  • Boys wrestle playfully with each other but no outbursts. Occasional discipline needed.
  • Specialised hygiene teacher being supplied by Dept. of Education.
  • School kitchen providing breakfast (powdered milk and fruit) each day to students.
  • Medical cabinets stocked.

Community Construction and Development:

  • Community centre with six rooms
  • Room put aside in community centre for a general clinic to be staffed by local volunteer nurses. Peru's Challenge paying for emergency cases treated in Cuzco.
  • New water piping system installed with taps and irrigation system.
  • Lessons given on drenching cattle, constructing and cleaning pens.
  • Every house visited and plans put in place to assist with kitchen supplies, bedding, chimneys etc..
  • Social worker involved in urgent cases.
  • Working with local council on future business ideas and setting up a "Small Loans for Community Development" program.
  • Regular visits from medical professionals and follow-up treatment: gynaecologist, optometrist, etc.
  • Community houses constructed for those in need.
  • All houses supplied with smokeless stoves.
  • Decrease cases of domestic violence and alcoholism.
  • Legal assistance where possible.

Talleres (adult workshop classes):

  • Peru's Challenge initiated the first project under our Small Loans for Community Development program - Pumamarca Talleres (Workshop) Group.
  • The mothers of the community attend classes in the afternoon three times a week and have learned the following skills: weaving, knitting, painting, jewelry making, arts and crafts, ceramics and woodwork.
  • Peru's Challenge has organised weekly visits from a number of tourist groups so the Talleres Group can sell their products directly. The funds raised are put into a bank account and accessed by the group at the end of the year.
  • Attendees: 23 in 2006, 74 in 2007, and 204 in 2008.
  • 2006: 100% of the materials were supplied by PC. At the end of the year, Christmas hampers for members were purchased with funds raised.
  • 2007: 25% of the materials were supplied by PC. 15kg Christmas hampers (with fresh turkeys) for members were purchased with funds raised. Members also went to Machu Picchu with the funds that still remained. Mothers also received payments for their product sold. Top payment was US$160 in one week.
  • 2008: PC didn't have to provide any materials. Each mother made a profit, Christmas hampers were purchased, and the mothers decided the remaining funds should go to medical campaigns necessary in the community.
  • Construction of workshop – completed.
  • 34 visits from tour groups in 2007 to purchase products –more than 300 passengers.
  • Record sales of US$1,000 during one group visit.
  • Website for online sales currently under development.
  • English classes for attendees.
  • Financial Education for attendees


School Construction:

  • Build beehives to supply honey to the kids.
  • Possibility of constructing secondary school

School Education:

  • Organise for the Department of Education to provide all eight teachers salaries and curriculum materials.
  • 200 children attending primary school.
  • 100% of children moving to seconday school.
  • Extra-curricular teacher being supplied by the Department of Education for physical education (sport, dance, theater, etc.).
  • Music teacher being suppled by the Department of Education.
  • Students being entered in school competitions--sport, music, dance, theater, etc.
  • More end-of-year excursions organised.

Health, Hygiene and Social Behaviour:
The following activities continued by school and Department of Education:

  • Teeth cleaning everyday.
  • Fluoride treatment every Tuesday.
  • Face washing and application of cream.
  • Quarterly anti-parasite medication.
  • Quarterly dental visits and follow-up treatment.
  • Quarterly doctor visits and follow-up treatment.
  • Medical cabinets stocked.

Community Construction and Development:

  • Ensure the community kitchen is functioning and self-sufficient.
  • Ensure the local doctor clinic is functioning and self-sufficient. Regular visits from medical professionals and follow-up treatment: gynaecologist, optometrist, etc.
  • Complete irrigation system for fields.
  • Community houses constructed for those in need.
  • All houses connected to electricity.
  • All houses connected to closed piping system for safe drinking water.
  • All houses have a toilet.
  • The toilet system is connected to a sewage system.
  • All houses supplied with smokeless stoves/chimneys.
  • All houses supplied with basic necessities: beds, kitchen supplies, tables, etc.
  • Decrease cases of domestic violence and alcoholism.
  • Processing mill for crops.
  • Legal assistance where possible.

Talleres (adult workshop classes):

  • Increase or maintain current level of attendees.
  • Finalise purchasing of all equipment necessary for classes.
  • English classes for attendees.
  • Financial education for attendees.
  • Business education on how to maintain business and become sustainable.
  • Money raised for the general fund to be spent on medical campaigns and treatments.
  • Finalise online sales website and markets products around the world.
  • Ensure the business is sustainable--via website sales, regular orders.
  • Possibility to construct Talleres workshop for carpentry and other manual labor skills.
  • Continuation of other Talleres classes, taken by local professionals.
  • "Small Loans for Community Development" program functioning for:
    • Guinea Pig breeding program
    • Chicken breeding program
    • Trout breeding program
    • Cattle breeding program for meat and dairy products
    • Large greenhouse for flowers, fruit and vegetables

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