We are expanding our field crew for the summer of 2014 here at the Andean Youth Program, and we are excited to present our newest volunteer: Marietta. She is coming to us from Austria (after an epic American tour, beginning with touring across Canada and then eventually ending up here in Cusco) to support our student volunteer service program: Kallpa K'oj. She will be assisting Juan and all Mosqoy students in implementation of this year's workshops for our Q'ente weaving communities (Amaru, Huaran, Cancha Cancha, Parobamba, Pitukiska, and Bombon).
Marietta is a kindergarden teacher in her native Austria, and has received her M. Sc in Education in March of 2012. She says the following of Cusco:
"I fell in love with Cusco 4 years ago. At that time I studied Spanish and worked in a orphanage for special needs kids and another orphanage for boys. Since than I wanted to come back to this beautiful place. After I was finished with my studies, I worked for one year for the federal ministry of economics. My job was working with public subsidies for kindergarden ... After 12 months [of travelling] I decided that I wanted to go back to Cusco and stay there for a couple of months."
She heard about Mosqoy through a friend of hers, and felt it aligned with her desire to work in an effective, and truly long term manner. She has heard of projects that begin with the best intentions, but end up providing money or services that communities don't actually use. "What I really like about Mosqoy is that they think towards the future, they want the communities to learn so they can stand on their own feet after a few years." She is really looking forward to assisting our Mosqoy kids to use their knowledge to give back to the communities, while maintaining important ties with their own culture. She is also excited to learn more about the communities we work in, their traditions and Quechuan culture.
"In combination with hiking, its gonna be an awesome experience for me."
Our 2014 Kallpa K'oj program is running through September, with the majority of the workshops taking place between April and June. Workshops this year include Spanish classes, cooking for residential tourism, and assisting in completing construction projects begun by the associations. Marietta will be living and working with us in and around Cusco until the beginning of June, and we are looking forward to using her enthusiasm and knowledge to make this year's program a success!