We are so excited to present our new field volunteer with Mosqoy’s Andean Youth Program: Juan Clavijo! Juan will be living at Casa Mosqoy for the next year, working with our students to develop and maintain programs aimed at increasing leadership abilities and organizational skills, and keep watch over our dormitory and the students themselves. He will be acting as a coach, mentor, and friend to our students, supporting them as they transition from rural to urban living and pursue their educational endeavours.
Juan is originally from from Bogota, Colombia, but has lived both in Ecuador and the United States. He recently gradated with a Master’s degree in Public Administration and International Development from the University of Washington, and he has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the same university. Like many Mosqoy volunteers, Juan is well-travelled—he has visited over 19 countries and plans to add more to the list! Some highlights of his travels include Egypt, China and Switzerland, and he has also lived in Lyon, France.
Juan believes very strongly in Mosqoy’s mission to preserve Quechua culture and connect it to culturally responsible economic opportunity. “Mosqoy provides the opportunity to work at the cross section of education and indigenous social inclusion, all within the magical setting that is Cusco,” he says. Juan is particularly excited about our new Casa Mosqoy programming, including workshops on sexual education, networking and employability skills, and public speaking, designed to complement the education our students receive at school. As an avid futbol (soccer) player and fan, he is also excited to use sport to integrate team work and effective communication into Casa Mosqoy life. In his first week with the AYP, he has already begun to create meaningful relationships with our students, bonding with them through a shared love of futbol or of Latin music and dancing.
His thoughts on working in Cusco:
“Peru, and Cusco specifically, is in a transitional period both economically and culturally. Being a part of that transition and contributing to a more sustainable and culturally inclusive development is incredibly challenging, and even more exciting. Some challenges are the cold weather in Cusco and the heavy culture shock. However, these are manageable, and given that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives, Peru is an amazing place in which to live and work.”
Be sure to check this blog soon for Juan's first post from the field about his initial impressions of Mosqoy and Cusco!