Since the last time we posted about the school, we have made INCREDIBLE progress!!!! I’m so excited to be able to share such great news with you. To be honest, after we did that fundraiser in December, I was nervous. For one, we were starting from complete scratch. We literally had nothing more than an idea to start an alternative school (Montessori) in Huanchaco where we would offer scholarships to children who normally would not be able to afford to go to school. I hadn’t expected such an outpouring of generosity from so many of you, and the responsibility to spend your money well–and with results– was pressing upon me. Fortunately, however, with a little luck and a LOT of hard work, we made magic happen. I think you will all be quite happy with what we’ve managed so far.
Firstly, we found a full-time Montessori certified and experienced teacher!!
Meet Senora Marbaker…..
She has been very instrumental in helping us create an organized and enticing space for the children to learn, as well as in teaching us more about the methods and materials used in the Montessori style of education. I was fortunate enough to have attended a Montessori preschool when I was a child, and I can personally attest that the Montessori school system sparked within me a deep love of learning, a willingness to experiment, and, ultimately, a confidence in my ability to create my own sui generis success in life.
Whooopeeee! I’m very excited that we’re bringing Montessori to Huanchaco!
Second, we found a clean and spacious classroom, and the best part is that it is 100% FREE!!!!!
Let’s say that again because it feels so good….
IT’S 100% FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The town library has a biblioteca infantil (children’s library) that they have been kind enough to let us use as a classroom during the week. An added advantage is that the library is centrally located in Huanchaco, which will encourage community participation.
Aren’t they the cutest?!
Our classroom came equipped with little tables, tiny chairs, wooden bookshelves filled with many books, and this colorful but somewhat cryptic mural. Apparently, the queen lady on the left is the Virgen de Los Ninos, and her job is to protect the children of Huanchaco from I’m guessing the scary looking people on the right.
As of right now, we have enough to get started, so we’ve gone ahead and opened our school….OFFICIALLY!!!
In fact, we’re about to become entirely legit. So, the backstory is this: We were having classes at Rossanna’s house, but we were stymied by our lack of a safe, intact, indoor space and the fact that we’d have to spend all of our donation money (and then some) on constructing that space. That didn’t sit well with us since our objective is to offer becas (scholarships) to the underprivileged children of Huanchaco, and if we spent all of our money on the infrastructure, we’d have no money left for our actual project. So, to solve that problem, Kelly (Catalina’s mom) went and spoke with the Municipalidad de Huanchaco, and the Alcalade (the mayor) offered us the library! Hooray!!
We need to write a full-length proposal to gain full governmental approval.
At least these energetic and beaming beauties are learning and having fun in the interim.
Tonight, I’m meeting with Kelly at Mamachas, and we will be figuring out how many children–specifically boys, since we have eight girls already–that we can sponsor with the funds we have saved. Just so you know, we have approximately $1100 so far that we’ve earned via our Paypal donations, and we’ve managed to save all of it for becas!!!
In my next update, I will have exact numbers detailing: 1) our expenses, 2) how much money is needed to sponsor one child per year, 3) how much money we need to raise to sponsor X amount of children (we’re hoping to get our classroom up to at least 15 kids by the end of this year), and 4) how much money we need to raise to buy our Montessori (or ersatz) supplies for the year.
I will also let you know how our official government approval goes as we wade through the bureaucratic process.
Lastly, school has only been in session for 2 weeks, but the children are already bonding with one another, Senora Marbaker, and even Mongo.
Thank you everyone for your continued support in La Casita de Los Ninos. We couldn’t have come this far without you!