Cusco

School Bus Project

 

A visit to Peru by Past President Trevor McGuirk and his wife Andrea in November 2009 resulted in The Rotary Club of Stirling being twinned with the Rotary Club of Cusco.

Trevor and Andrea also visited a remote community called Quishuarani. It was here that the elders of the community presented a letter of request, for a school bus, to them.  The letter explained that the children of this community had to walk to school each day. It took them 2.5 – 3 hours to get to school and the same to get home. At 4,400 metres above sea level and on mountain tracks this was a difficult journey for the children, especially in freezing cold weather.

Both Rotary Clubs agreed to support this project and to purchase a new school bus for the children of Quishuarani. A successful application to the Rotary Foundation for a matching grant provided a total of $33,150 for this project. $10,000 from the Rotary Club of Stirling, $23,150 from the Foundation. The Rotary Club of Cusco was responsible for the purchase and delivery of the bus – a huge administrative task.

The school bus was delivered and received by the elders of Quishuarani in November 2010.

 

 

Friendship Exchange to Cusco, Peru, August/September 2011

On Friday 19th August a contingent of 17 members of the Friendship Exchange group consisting of 6 Rotarians and partners, 3 single Rotarians and 2 non-Rotarians made the long journey to Cusco. Members were: Alan & Kate Bartram, Sandra Matz, Gordon & Nereda Wilkinson (RC Hyde Park), Bob & Marilyn Cooper, Lee-Anne McCaffer, Wendy Stewart (RC Burnside), John & Carol Darwin (RC Flagstaff Hill), Dennis & Vivienne Liddle, Trevor and Andrea (RC Stirling), Margaret Potter and Ben Liddle (non Rotarians - friends of Rotary!)  The long flight to Sydney (overnight) then on to Lima via Auckland, Santiago where 2 nights were spent before flying on to Cusco.  A reception was organised by members of the Rotary Club of Cusco which provided a wonderful opportunity to exchange banners, meet and discuss projects that the Rotary Clubs of Hyde Park, Burnside, Flagstaff Hill and Stirling undertake, as well as outlining what the RC Cusco does in addition to the bus project.  In the following 11 days, the intinerary included visiting Machu Picchu, the SacredValley and Lake Titicaca. On Sunday 28th August the group, plus members of the Rotary Club of Cusco, travelled to Quishuarani in the mountain region where the school bus is located. A day of festivities was arranged to celebrate the community bus.  The Friendship Exchange group also visited  Pumamarca where, as volunteers, Trevor and Andrea worked in 2008.

 

Fund raising for the Friendship Exchange

In February 2011 the children at Basket RangePrimary School presented a cheque for $300 – a wonderful contribution (35 students at Basket Range) to add to other funds provided by friends and members of Stirling Club. This money, along with Andrea’s biscuit selling, speaking engagements, the Woodcutters at Woodhouse and other fund raising meant that a total of over $3,000 was raised for educational equipment, education costs, and to support some medical needs of these people.  The Friendship Exchange was a rewarding way to see how the Rotary Club of Stirling was able to positively contribute to the lives of children in Cusco, Peru.  Cusco is the centre of the Inca civilisation and many of the children who live in the remote mountain valleys are distant descendants of the Incas. Their native indigenous language is Quechua. Their parents speak Spanish and Quechua.

 

 

Cusco, often spelled Cuzco or in Quechua, Qusqu or Qosqo, is a city in southeastern Peru near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cuzco Province. In 2007, the city had a population of 358,935 which was triple the figure of 20 years ago. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft). Tourists who visit Cusco, Macchu Pichu and other areas in this region are aware that this altitude can cause illness  - altitude sickness.

The poor children of this region, whether they live in the city of Cusco, or in the surrounding maintainous areas live in conditions ranging from abject poverty to subsistence survival.