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Karol Hermoza

As we continue to move our programs to online platforms, GVI Peru with the Centro Bartolomé de las Casas has organized a series of online events to discuss our impact in the communities of the Piuray Ccorimarca micro basin. It’s relevant to showcase our efforts to bring socio-economic benefits to the rural communities in Cusco.

On October 5th, we had the first event in the Facebook live of Centro Bartolomé de las Casas. We were lucky to have three GVI volunteers and three women from the rural communities in Cusco. These volunteers joined the GVI’s programs in Cusco between May and July 2019. We started the conference with our Program Manager, Karol Hermoza, who gave a presentation about GVI’s work in Cusco. GVI Peru begun operations in June 2018 and has continued its initiatives non-stop until March 2020, when operations had to stop due to the coronavirus pandemic. GVI Peru has two main objectives, community development, and environmental conservation. On the first action line, GVI leads an English for Business program for women in the rural tourism association, supports business initiatives, tourism infrastructure, and helps with English classes at the Pongobamba school. On the environmental side, GVI has created and improved green infrastructure, lead environmental conservation workshops at schools, and help reforestation efforts.

In the second part of the conference, three GVI volunteers gave their testimony about their time in Peru. Clarice Hu (Duke University) commented on the knowledge about water protection that she acquired in Cusco. Now, she is an ambassador of the program and prepares future participants in topics like interculturality. Justine Wu (Duke University) talked about the personal relationships developed with other Duke students and volunteers. Also, the experience to teach students about compost at the Pongobamba school. Clarice and Justine were part of the Duke Engage program, and they joined GVI Peru for two months. Besides, we had Paula Castro (Mexican volunteer) who supported business activities, like translating text for the website of CBC’s travel agency, Tupay. She learned about the sense of community and how to work for community development. Paula signed up for our regular program of Micro-enterprise and business development.

In the following section, we had three women from three rural tourism associations that have participated in GVI’s programs and projects for the last two years. Braulia Puma from the association ‘Pumac Wasin’ discussed how learning English with the volunteers helped the women in her association to develop new income through rural tourism. She also remembered teaching about textiles. Luz Marina from the association ‘Kusi Kausay’ discussed the reforestation activities with native plants and the greenhouse built at the Pongobamba school, where their children can learn more about environmental conservation. Finally, Ernestina Huallpayunca from the association ‘Las Maripositas’ talked about the work of fencing the water source known as Media Luna that is now a site to receive foreign tourists. Also, she remembered the volunteers working on the improvement of the community trail. These women are ready to welcome GVI volunteers and continue the work in their communities.

As of last remarks, Paula described the similarities between the Mexican and Peruvian cultures that relate due to the Spanish colonization. Karol explained the health protocols that let volunteers adapt to the high altitude of Cusco. As well, she explained the opportunities of rural tourism for the future, as new travelers will leave mass tourism and choose personalized tourism alternatives. The rural tourism associations in Cusco are ready for this new type of travel. From GVI Peru, we hope to re-open the hub soon and come back to the communities soon. We are sure our work is supporting long-term objectives that will allow the conservation of the Piuray Ccorimarca micro basin. Join our next online events on October 26th and November 9th on the same channels!

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