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Wow. It has been a full month since the graduation, and yet it feels like only yesterday! June has been an exceptional month of cooperation among the Mosqoy students. Mosqoy 3 worked on their second of four modules for their final course, and enjoyed a week’s vacation.

Similarly, Mosqoy 4 students finished their semesters at the beginning of June and spent the better part of the month on vacation. A few students went home to be with their families, while others stayed in town to find practicum hours or take on short contract jobs. They are all excited to start their new semesters, and focus once again on their studies. Not to be left out, Mosqoy 5 students are nearing the end of their first semester and working hard to finish projects and attend seminars. It has been a largely quiet month in the house, with only about ten people at daily dinners. We are all looking forward to having everyone back and the house full of life once again.

June was a great month for birthdays: Happy 22nd birthday, Edison! Happy 22nd birthday, Irene! Happy 23rd birthday, Marco! Happy 22nd birthday, Karina! We were able to celebrate Marco’s birthday with our guests from the San Blas Spanish School, where he was lucky enough to experience the “happy birthday song” in Spanish, English and German; poor Marco got to stand there for about five minutes before he could blow out his candle. We are hoping to celebrate all these birthdays with a good night out dancing at some point when there are no final exams and people aren’t on vacation.

Our intercultural and language exchange with the San Blas Spanish School continues, with a particularly lively exchange that included a workshop on Quechuan Dance. Alex organised his peers Marilyn, Raul and Clayda to teach a dance called the Mestizo Qoyacha. Students tried to follow Marilyn and Raul’s steps, and even mostly kind of succeeded! On another date, we welcomed a group from Canada into the mix (Gayle, Greg and Geof), and saw a presentation by Marco and Rolando about their home community, Pallata. We look forward to Tuesday Night Intercambios, and sharing Quechuan culture with visitors. For anyone making their way through Cusco, please do not hesitate to let us know! We run the program with San Blas, but the house is open to anyone interested in checking out Casa Mosqoy.

Students have continued in their volunteer service, in the month of June three students were able to complete translations for our Community Textile Field Coordinator, Maggie. Alex went to Huaran to support that meeting and Carmen hiked up above Huaran to Cancha Cancha for that monthly meeting. Edison was able to complete all of his volunteer hours by trekking to the Mapacho River Valley for three days to translate for the Parobamba, Bombon, and Pitukiska weaving associations. We are currently working with another NGO, Threads of Peru, for some capacity workshops that our students will also develop and teach for their weaving communities. Students are rapidly completing the current Kallpa K’oj projects underway, with the Amaru Marketing Project nearing completion. We are expecting to start new projects with Kallpa K’oj en force in September.

Cusco was a city of fiestas and celebration throughout the month of June, with the Noche de Luz y Sonido (Night of Light and Sound) happening on June 20th as the official fiestas patrias of the city. Maggie was able to experience Inti Raymi, and has posted a beautiful blog about her experience. Our students were able to celebrate a similar festival in their district of Ollantaytambo - Ollantay Raymi. One of our students, Karina, even acted in the theatre production as the daughter of Ollantay and Cusi Coyllur. The entire township comes together to act the discovery of the town (a forbidden love between a great warrior and the daughter of nobility) in a theatre production of 400 + actors. These celebrations and fiestas were amazing displays of traditional dance, costume, and food. And, importantly, they took our minds off the numbing cold of June.

We wish a Happy Solstice and beautiful summer to all those in the Northern Hemisphere. Happy Canada Day! Happy Fourth of July! Thanks to all who made Matching Day with The School Fund a success and thanks for your continued support!

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