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Casa Mosqoy has had a lot of exciting events this month! At the beginning of July, we officially implemented the “High Five” and “Student Hero of the Month” programs. Every week, “high fives” (which come in the form of a small food treat) are given to those students who have exhibited responsible behavior in the house. If a student takes initiative, completes his chores on time, or does a good deed for someone else, he is nominated by his peers to receive a high five. There is no limit to how many students receive “high fives” as the program is meant to encourage good behavior as well as recognize those who act responsibly. In addition, “Student Hero of the Month” recognizes one student every month for overall outstanding personal or academic achievements. The students collectively decided that the person who receives “Student Hero of the Month” should display the following merits: support, initiative, responsibility, punctuality, honesty, reciprocity, generosity, a positive attitude, academic merits, and patience. After casting all votes, Carmen was elected as the Student Hero of June. As a reward, she will receive one free movie ticket that can be used at the brand new movie theatre here in Cusco.

Casa Mosqoy also held a two-part financial workshop for the students this month. The first half of the series consisted of an interactive game - similar to the Game of Life and Monopoly - which taught students how to manage their expenses, savings, and business negotiations. The game simulated real-life situations by requiring students to purchase items from a grocery store, invest money in products that they then had to market to potential buyers, manage a savings account, and find the means to pay for unexpected life events. The students were required to maintain a balance sheet of all expenses and earnings so that they could properly pay back any loans to the bank. The students worked in groups of two, which meant that they had to discuss amongst themselves how to best manage their money. In the end of the simulation, Marilyn and Karina’s team was the most successful. They managed to end the game with a profit of 530 soles, whereas the other two teams struggled to reach 400 soles. The activity was a huge success and the students really enjoyed themselves. We will be continuing with the second half of the workshop this coming Wednesday.

As for future activities, Casa Mosqoy is in the process of planning a sports tournament in Ollantaytambo. We hope to fundraise money that can be applied to the students’ tuition or other expenses within the house. The idea is to provide a fun family day for the community of Ollantaytambo, where most of our students are from. Although we are still in the beginnings of planning the event, we hope to provide a sort of relay-day where each student can be in charge of a different sport. Sports may include an egg and spoon race, a potato sack race, a water balloon toss, and a small soccer game. The students would ideally like to sell food at the event in order to fundraise for our Casa Mosqoy expenses. They are currently organizing an event proposal, from which we hope to begin formalizing plans and a budget. I think this is an incredible opportunity for the students to showcase their leadership skills and plan an incredible event. The students have exhibited a lot of enthusiasm for planning the event, so I am positive that it will be a success.

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