Building a School
STATEMENT OF NEED: HIGH SCHOOL IN AYACUCHO VILLAGE
Ayacucho Village, and its communities are remote river villages located on the Tipishka and Yanayacu Rivers, tributaries of the Amazon River, located in the Peruvian Rainforest. These remote villages are approximately eight hours by speed boat from Iquitos City. The people living in this part of the world are some of the poorest in human society today. They live on what they can farm and fish with little or no income. These communities are isolated from the cities, they struggle to obtain all they need to survive. Due to the severe poverty of the people living there, they have very little if any access to the city and the modern world. Ayacucho Village has 165 people in its community with 70 children attending school. San Juan de Yanayacu has 50 people in its community with 25 children attending school. Junin has 12 people in its community with 9 children attending school. These three communities are adjacent to the buffer zone of the Pacaya-Samiria National reserve, a protected area of the Amazon floodplain.
In 2016, Working in collaboration with Ministerio de Education in Peru, the school’s principals and teachers of Ayacucho Tipishika-Rio Amazonas, Nevada Building Hope Foundation created a children’s education program. This program provides everything a child needs for a full year of education, including: (slacks and shirts for the boys) and (blouses and skirts for the girls) clothes for physical education, undergarments, and school shoes. We also provide the teachers in nine schools and three communities all the school supplies they will need for a full school year.
In summer of 2018, Barbara Land, from NBHF, a representative from the Curassow Amazon Lodge, the Mayor and the PTA president from Ayacucho Village had a meeting with the Department of Education in Iquitos. In October 2018, the Minister of Education granted permission to NBHF to seek the funds for the construction of a high school in the Ayacucho Zone.
(Right) Original school building.
(Top) Phase 1 of new building with donor and founder Bailey.
The construction of the High School in Ayacucho Village was funded by monies raised by Ahhyun (Bailey) Ahn and Maksym Taran. In 2019, they raised the necessary funds to pay for the construction of Phase I of the High School. In March 2020, the school opened for classes. Before the opening of Phase I of the High School, the majority of the children living in Ayacucho, San Juan de Yanayacu, and Junin Villages did not attend high school, their education ended the day they graduated from their communities’ primary school. If a child wanted a high school education they were required to attend high schools in another community, some of which were located as far as eight hours away. The children resided in a distant village, living with a relative, a family friend or in a communal dormitory. They only returned home to their families when school was on holiday or on an occasional weekend. The high school’s great distance presented many hardships for the families. The cost of the gasoline, lodging and food for the child to attend school was beyond the means of the families living in these poor communities. It was more of a reality for the child not to attend school but to go through life with only a primary school education.
It is important to note, that the high school was built by the parents, and other community members. By the sweat of their hands, they carried sand, concrete, and wood, working daily in the blazing heat for three months to give their children the gift of education. The project was supervised by Peruvian contractor, Luis Viena Reategui and NBHF Director, Dustin Pinedo Gonzalez.
The end of phase 1.
Bailey and a sponsored student.
Community members working together to build phase 2 of the school.
In March of 2021, Bailey Ahn and Makysm Taran funded the second building of the high school in Ayacucho Village. This building has two classrooms which houses grades three and four. In this phase of the project two more bathrooms were constructed. We are very grateful to Linda Osmond Wirth. Linda in these past two years has raised funds for many NBHF projects. We also acknowledge, Dan Arnold, Jean Fitzgerald Braman, Phylis Ooi, and Teri Butler for their generous contributions to the school and our foundations.
In July 2022, the NBHF funded the building of a school boat, USS DANI. This boat transports the children of San Juan de Yanayacu to Ayacucho to school daily. Before the construction of this boat, the children were left to paddle themselves daily by canoe to attend their classes a distance away. This daily trip was dangerous for the children with the high river current, water vegetation, and the constant threat of a dangerous storms. NBHF funds the gasoline yearly for the boat.
The USS Dani
Donors Linda Osmond Wirth and Dan Arnold
Phase II of the school finished
Teachers for the school and boot desk donations
In 2024, we will have our first class of graduating seniors. In December 2024, the students will graduate from their fifth grade of high school and hopefully move onto universities or technical/trade schools in the city. It is of dire importance that we raise $30,000 to finish the last building of the Ayacucho High School Campus. The construction of the final phase of the school must begin at the end of summer in 2023 before the high-water season. The last school building will house the fifth grade, and two bathrooms.
In February 2023, the Nevada Building Hope Foundation suffered a huge loss. An important member of the NBHF team, Ryan Watson, was killed in a fatal air crash. Ryan, a dedicated paramedic, died while transporting a patient from Reno to a nearby hospital. Ryan was a role model to the children living in our communities, the children looked up to him, respected him and more importantly they loved him. In this new complex, we will have a dedicated space “The Ryan Watson Center.” This two-room annex will hold a computer lab/library and the teacher’s offices.
Today, the new high school is bustling with activities, the children in all four grades are learning the traditional Peruvian Educational Curriculum, English, Art, Traditional Dances of Peru, farming, and other courses instructed by six high school teachers. More importantly these students are learning how to conserve and protect the Amazon and all that lives there.
Students in their new school