Sunday, January 31, 2010

Open Letter To All Of Our Past Volunteers

I am writing today to all of our past volunteers, asking you to consider being a sustaining member of SKY….Sumak Kawsay Yachay, the Ecuadorian foundation that has been funding the projects that we have been doing here in Salasaca.

As many of you know, the main source of money has been from me personally. I am doing what I want to do and as long as I am able I will continue to fund the foundation. We have a few donors that have been a great help in keeping the projects going and we are thankful for their support.

I am also thankful for my continued good health which allows me to continue working, because for me, without meaningful work, life would not be the fantastic adventure that it is today.

The reality is that I am four months away from 78 and although I plan to be around for many more years I would like to start planing for the future.

As we begin the new year I am asking all of you, who have experienced firsthand Katitawa School and were touched in a positive way by the unconditional love expressed by the children, to commit to a $10.00 (or more if you feel led to do so), per month donation. You could even convince some of your friends to make Katitawa School their favorite charity.

PayPal makes it easy to donate and the cost for us to receive the money is only 3.9% plus $0.35 per transaction. So for every $10.00 donation we receive $9.26. If you would like to be a member of this very exclusive club, just click on the Subscribe Button below.

We will set up a special page for the sustaining members on the blog and include in that page information especially for the members.

I look forward to hearing from you even if you are not able to make a donation.

Con coriño,


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lachlan's Farm Soon To Be A Reality.

Why Lachlan's Farm?

In the summer of 2009 Greta Gilliss from Scotland was volunteering here in Salasaca when she received news that her cousin was killed....Here is her story.

"Lachlan Gillies 1992-2009
Our cousin Lachlan died mid 2009 as a result of a road accident in our home country, Scotland. He was only 17 years old. He was much loved by his friends and family and a real smarty too (he got the joint dux of his school that year). He was about to embark on a year of travel before starting his university studies in science.

My brother, Arran and I were in South America when we heard of his death and I was working at Katitawa. A few weeks before this, Robert mentioned he'd like some animals at the school and remembering this I asked my brother if he'd like to help me provide the start-up funds for a wee animal farm in Lachlan's memory. He said yes, then came to Katitawa getting started on the area, making protections for the trees. A farm was particularly significant for us too because we were all brought up on one. Lachlan had also been considering travelling in South America, so it was like he actually made it here.

Personal reasons aside a self sustaining farm would be great for the school, providing food for school lunches; produce to sell and helping educate the kids about animals. Really, its a win win situation, we remember someone by doing something positive. Shouldn't that always be the way?"


After several months of delays because of the other projects we have been working on, we are ready to start on the Farm.

We will begin fencing the area and then introduce a couple of burros, sheep, and goats. We will move the chicken coup up from the garden area and start raising chicken once more. All of the animals will be untethered inside the area.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome To Our Annual Christmas And Kapac Raymi Program

I am working on this page, with the slowest connection I have ever had. Please come back often. Sorry

Buenos días y bienvenidos a nuestra anual programa de Navidad y Kapak Rami aquí en la Escuela Katitawa.
Today, the 21st of December, the ritual of Kapac Raymi is celebrated in Salasaca and the the other regions of the Andes. It is known as the Grand Fiesta Of The New Life. It is a Festival dedicated to the continuation of life with emphasis on the young people and children.

Hoy 21 de diciembre en Salasaca y en las Regiones Andinas se celebra el ritual del Kapak Raymi conocida como la Gran Fiesta de la Nueva Vida. Es una festiidad dedicada a la Continuación de la vida, con Énfasis en niños y jóvenes.

El día 25 se celebra la Navidad. Ambos son festivales de esperanza y felicidad.

Hoy también estamos celebrando casi terminado el proyecto que comenzamos en junio pasado 28, cuando Ángel y yo, con la ayuda de su amigo con una motosierra, se quitó el gran árbol que estaba delante de este edificio.

A partir de las dos pequeñas aulas, y cuarto de baño, continuamos con las paredes, pasillos y la Cruz Andina que ha significado para la celebración de nuestro Kapak Rami hoy. Y es por eso que estamos inaugurando en todo el proyecto, aunque no se ha completado.

Ha sido un largo de seis meses desde que empezamos, pero el final está a la vista.

La razón por la que elegimos este proyecto era doble. Teníamos que los salones de clase adicionales y que teníamos que hacer algo sobre el polvo y la arena que invadió todo hizo imposible mantener las cosas limpias.

Queríamos crear algo en esta área que se resolvería el problema de polvo y arena y, al mismo tiempo tienen un significado cultural. Cuando hayamos terminado, espero que tengamos éxito en ambos aspectos.

Quiero agradecer a todos los voluntarios, pasado y presente, que han dado su tiempo y energía para hacer posible este evento. Ha sido difícil a veces pero ha sido satisfactorio y gratificante.

También quiero dar las gracias a todas las familias de los estudiantes que se produjo cuando le pide que haga algo del trabajo atrás de última hora que había que hacer. Y lo hizo con el buen humor que siempre forma parte de una minga.

Este proyecto nunca habría sido posible sin su ayuda.

Gracias a todos.