June 24, 2013
While hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu our guide, Efrain Valles shared with me the meager beginnings of what has become the non profit, Chicuchas Wasi. Efrain was a street kid, saved by founder Rae Lewis and he refers to her as his Mom. He has a college education, a beautiful young family and a successful career. His passion for Chicuchas Wasi is contagious and he pays it forward by working on the school, donating and fundraising. I wanted to see the school when we returned to Cusco, so Efrain arranged for Ruth Uribe, the school director to pick 3 of us up. I was so excited to see the girls! The school was very impressive, well layed out, clean and organized. The small group of younger girls doing art outside the classroom all got up and ran to greet Ruth and you could clearly see how much they love her. We were surprised to find in another outdoor section they had planned a special greeting for us. All the girls looked sharp in their uniforms and they were in rows by grade. We stood before them and they entertained us with songs, dance, a poem and presented us with cards and drawings they made. We were moved to tears! They were so happy, loving and gave us big hugs. Afterward it was lunch and they had a healthy, hot cooked meal in the cafeteria/kitchen, which had a beautiful view of the mountains. I am excited for these girls and the oppurtunity they are provided through the Chichuchas Wasi school. The gift of education by a caring staff will expose their strenghts, self worth and free them to be independent, confident young women with boundless possibilities!!
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Teach them the English language. With so much tourism coming into Cusco and many of the tourists speaking English, they can only soar higher and go further with many oppurtunities knowing English.
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