Summer Trip 2023
Summer 2023 Sponsor Report/website blog
On June 13, 2023, Barbara Land and Mykel Miller from Nevada Building Hope Foundation travelled to Peru for the NBHF annual summer trip. The team distributed 100 school uniforms, 100 pairs of shoes, 100 back packs, and distributed all the school supplies a child will need for a full year of education. NBHF serves the educational needs of the children living in Ayacucho, San Juan de Yanayacu and Junin Villages. It is always such a community affair on uniform/backpack day! All the parents, grandparents, and children were all present in the school as each child was called to receive his/her back pack, followed by their sponsor photo. Nine teachers in Ayacucho, three teachers in San Juan and two teachers in Junin Villages were given all the school supplies they need for the entire 2023 school year.
On our arrival to the jungle, our team was greeted at the river bank by all the people and children living in Ayacucho and San Juan Villages. The children waved hand-made signs expressing their love and appreciation for our work in their communities.
We thank our Director of NBHF/Peru, Dustin Pinedo Gonzales for his leadership and management in buying, sorting, and arranging each backpack that was distributed. Mykel Miller, a University of Nevada, Reno, Pre-med student accompanied our Director, Barbara Land this summer. He was a great help with all our projects and is a valuable member of Nevada Building Hope Foundation Team. This is Mykel’s second trip to the jungle.
The new high school in Ayacucho Village is going strong. The government has provided the high school with six teachers and we currently have 40 students enrolled in the high school. In the current four class rooms, we have students in grades one through four. It is very exciting that in 2024, we will have our first class of graduating seniors. It was heart touching to see all the high students studying and working so hard in their classes. The new teachers provided all the fourth-grade students with a polo shirt with their name and the official school emblem which they all wore with such great pride. NBHF provided polo shirts to all the other students in grades one to three. It is important to us, that all the students in the high school attend school with dignity and pride. It made my heart happy just to speak to the children of the high school. They now have hope and their once dreams are now a lived reality. They want to be doctors, engineers, climate scientists, nurses, and even guides. As requested by the teachers, NBHF funded a complete first aid station for the high school.
The official NBHF School Boat, the USS Dani is full of students and runs daily from San Juan to Ayacucho Village. The boat was launched in 2022 and was built by NBHF sponsors under the leadership of Linda Osmond Wirth. Linda has been a blessing to NBHF and to the children of the jungle. She has raised much needed money and has funded many projects in our communities.
The school boat assures that the children will go back and forth to school daily safely, avoiding the dangerous currents of the Amazon River and water vegetation. NBHF pays monthly for the gas to help the struggling families of San Juan.
Cindy Lupo of the LuLaRoe Sister Tribe donated 70 brand new tops to the ladies living in all three of our jungle communities. We estimate her donation was nearly $2,800. We thank Cindy for her generosity.
During our time at the Grand Amazon Lodge, the official jungle home of NBHF, we met some really wonderful people. Arun Thirumurthy and his daughter, Esha, are new sponsors and new members of the NBHF family. It was so much fun sharing the festivities of Festival of Saint John the Baptist with them as we all danced around the humisha tree with the children. We are thankful and grateful to owners and staff of Grand Amazon Lodge for providing us a safe wonderful place to stay as we work in the communities.
Rosemary Wright, a second-year medical student, and a Board Member of NBHF, joined us in the jungle to discuss with the communities the proposed clean water project. JVA Engineers from Colorado, along with Engineers Without Borders are working together to bring clean water tanks to Ayacucho and San Juan de Yanayacu. This is a big project and a project that has the potential to change the lives forever of the people living along the river still consuming the dangerous river water.
In 2022, we met a small boy in desperate need of palette surgery. Cami Berg, a Pre-Med student and a member of NBHF, raised the money to fund 100% of his palette surgery. We thank local Northern Nevada dentists who contributed to this surgery. We were very excited to be in the community when Jesus Adrian returned home from Lima, Peru following his surgery. The little boy is being raised by his grandparents.
NBHF funded a small home in Ayacucho Village to house the six new high school teachers who were all living together in the principal’s house. The teachers were struggling with no place to live during the week while teaching in the high school. These amazing educators were beyond appreciative of this gift. NBHF provided water bottles to the high school students to decorate and to give to their beloved teachers on “National Teachers Day.”
The children of the NBHF are so lucky to have the most amazing and loving sponsors! Our children and their parents appreciate all the support you give them yearly. It’s such an honor to share photos and gifts with the children on each of our trips. We get hours of entertainment from each photo sent by a sponsor.
NBHF continues to care for the elderly of the community. We bring over the counter medications as directed by the clinic, muscle creams, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, blankets and clothes to the senior members of the community.
In February 2023, the Nevada Building Hope Foundation suffered a tragic loss. Ryan Watson, a member of our team and husband of NBHF Board Member, Kailey Watson was killed in a tragic airplane accident while transporting a patient from the Reno to Utah. Ryan was a hero and a role model to all who knew him, he sponsored two children in our program and travelled to the jungle 2022. Ryan had great plans to help both the women and children suffering with severe nutritional deficiencies stemming from their diet. Both Ayacucho and San Juan held traditional jungle memorials in his honor this past March. It was so touching to see the love the communities have for Ryan.
In Ryan’s honor, the Nevada Building Hope Foundation will dedicate the last building of the high school complex in his name. The Ryan Watson Center will house the fifth grade of high school, a small library and a teacher’s office. A fund-raising campaign has started to raise the $20,000 needed to finish the school. We need to raise the money by the end of 2023. In 2024, the fifth-grade class will need a classroom as they complete their last year of high school in preparation of their graduation. Any and all contributions to NBHF, will be greatly appreciated as we attempt to build the last building of the high school in honor of Ryan.
In June 2023, Renowned Peruvian Artist, Percy Abraham Chung donated a piece of art to be sold as a fundraiser for NBHF. This work of art will be used to help fund the Ryan Watson Center in Ayacucho Village. Ryan and Kailey Salter purchased paintings from Percy and as with all of us, Percy was devastated by our loss of Ryan.
Barbara and Dustin sat patiently in Iquitos City with Carmita until her baby was born days later by C-Section. Little Ana was born healthy, mother and baby returned to the safety of their jungle.
Dana Babbitt Rensi, a Fulbright Scholar is helping NBHF with two major projects in the jungle, one is to secure a small computer lab operated by solar and the other is to lend support to preteen and teenage girls living in the jungle with their hygiene needs.
The Nevada Building Hope Foundation acknowledges and thanks all the great and wonderful people throughout world who support our programs in the remote Amazon Rainforest.
Nevada Building Hope Foundation Federal ID Number 81-4396837.