CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy 468th Birthday Arequipa, Perú!

The vols have been doing a fantastic job, especially as now it’s a brand new team. They’ve been teaching the kids about the Olympics and tying in their art and PE lessons to this theme. In art we’ve had team Italia, Poland, Australia and England making flags and posters advertising the Olympics. Germán at Triunfo made a great poster relating to the cycling!

We’ve also been doing a lot on Arequipa as the 15th August was the 468th anniversary of the founding of Arequipa. As we know the Peruvians love a celebration, and the whole city went crazy for their anniversary! At school we’ve been looking at the traditional dresses in art, with 1st & 2nd grade at Triunfo recreating the outfits brilliantly!

And at Maldonado they’ve been recreating the view over Arequipa, even more spectacular lately as it’s snowed quite a bit over the volcanoes.

Both schools hit the Plaza de Armas as a field trip in honour of the anniversary, which was great! We fed the pigeons in the Plaza, visited the Cathedral, Iglesia de la Compañia, the French cloisters, and chilled in the park at San Francisco.

For some of the kids even though they only live 20mins from Arequipa, it was their first time into the centre. Ruth & Carolina of Maldonado were looking extremely confused when we arrived in the Plaza and were asking “so where is the Plaza de Armas?” Jose Antonio of Triunfo was just in absolute awe of everything he saw! Everyone behaved very well (including the vols!) and had a great day.

Maldonado looked very smart in their new uniform cardigans purchased by their parents, the logo incl. the GVI name.

Maldonado held an Arequipa Day party (lets face it, is Ruth going to miss a chance to party?!!). The Mum’s cooked some traditional dishes – pastel de papa, cuye, rocoto relleno y chicarrone.

We got dressed up in traditional dress (much to the amusement of the kids); the kids strutted their stuff in the cancha showing us their best dance moves, then it was time for the food tasting (the kids thought it was hilarious how most of us backed away in fear of the cuye!), then we all danced and enjoyed the celebrations.

Armando very kindly invited us all to a Rock concert which was on for the anniversary, so we all rocked to Peruvian & Mexican bands! Surprisingly good! The next day all the vols headed off to Salinas and had a great day playing on the salt flats, they also got to see flamingos!

Alan O’Brien (centre), a long-term volunteer last year and of Perú documentary fame (!), has rejoined the team this week as Intern; he’ll be working between both Triunfo & Maldonado along with Patrick.

We’ve continued our health programme, and brought the 41 children who need glasses (across both schools) into Arequipa to be fitted for their glasses. The Optician couldn’t believe how bad Magali (now at secondary school, but was 6th grade at Maldonado last year) eyes were, she’s basically been unable to see anything for years! So this will truly change her life!

Unfortunately Michael who started with us at Maldonado a few weeks ago has had to return to the Sierra until next March. But we’ve had a few new members of the team join us...Gabriela in the Triunfo Inicial (Jose’s, who joined us a few weeks ago in 3rd grade, sister); and Biancia & Lourdes at Maldonado (Jose’s, 6th grade, nieces).

All seem to be settling in well and already Biancia & Lourdes have an admirer.....Juanito can’t decide which one he likes best!!! On that note, it’s official...Alex & Magdalena are together!! Well according to Alex anyway, Magdalena’s facial expressions hint otherwise!

The maintenance work has started at Triunfo due to a grant given by the Ministry of Education. All classrooms are being fitted with electricity; all windows fixed; the outside of the school painted; a sink fitted in the kitchen; and climbing frames erected for the kids!!

It’s also been a busy period at the Casa de Avila, GVI's base.....Raul got married, and we’ve celebrated the birthdays of Cristina & Javier, and also Yensin and Felipe!



How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects