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Hello from Cusco! This is my (Cara’s) first blog with the Andean Youth Program. It has been quite the whirlwind learning everything I need to know to manage AYP, but Kristina has been great about showing me the ropes. I am excited to be here and have enjoyed my time so far getting to know the AYP students and the Mosqoy team. I am lucky to get to spend the next two years working with some incredible people. I was sad to see Kristina leave Cusco, but I know she’s going on to do great things and will always have Mosqoy in her heart.

November was an exciting month for the AYP. The selection process has been in full swing as we administered selection exams in Ollantaytambo, Huaran and Parobamba. After grading quite a few exams, we are excited to have our preselected student list!

View of the Mapacho River Valley from Parobamba
Students taking selection exam in Parobamba

The next step was our first preselected student meeting at Casa Mosqoy. The meeting was successful and it was great to start getting to know our pre-selected students and their parents. We will begin house visits in January, where we will get to know these students and their families even better.

Preselected students with family members at our first preselected student meeting

Things at Casa Mosqoy have been a little quieter than normal as a number of our students have been on vacation from their studies. That being said, we had a Christmas party combined with Kristina’s despedida (good-bye party) that was quite lively! We enjoyed a delicious chicken dinner, panteón (a sweet bread with dried fruits) and hot chocolate. Each student thanked Kristina for all she has done for them and the program. She will certainly be missed.

Group photo at Christmas/Despedida Party—current AYP students and AYP alumni!
The delicious spread at the party

(“We will never forget what you did for us”) sign, made by current and past AYP students for Kristina’s despedida

Last week, AYP students put on a chocolatada in a remote community called Yanamayo, which is three hours by car from Ollantaytambo. This event provided holiday cheer to the community through hot chocolate, panetón and toys for the children. It was a long day, but a successful event that drew 40 to 50 people! It was also a great opportunity for AYP students and Mosqoy volunteers alike to bond and spend quality time together.

Finally, Mosqoy is excited to announce the Mosqoy Holiday Match through the School Fund! Any donation made to a student on The School Fund website—starting December 18that 12:01 am PST and up to $3,000 total—will be matched by Inner Fire Yoga Apparel with a donation to a Mosqoy student. This means if you donate in December to a Mosqoy student, your impact will be doubled! Here’s a link to the School Fund website:

From the Mosqoy family here in Peru, thank you so very much for your interest in and support of our program. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful supporters. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year.

- Cara Clatanoff

Andean Youth Program Manager

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