New Floor Proposal
Pampa Mercado, Peru
As a small non-for-profit, we try to partner with other more established organizations. For this project we are partnering with Bright Hope. Their mission has the same heart as ours – it is to bring hope to those living on less than $1 a day. The information and photos provided below was provided by them.
The country of Peru has a large indigenous population that is often forgotten and
unrecognized. It is estimated that 35% of Peru’s total population is comprised of indigenous people with 16 different language families and 65 ethnic groups.
After Brazil and New Guinea, Peru is said to have the highest number of unreached tribes in the world. The indigenous are often forgotten and taken advantage of within the Peruvian society. Peru’s economy is tied to its geography: arid coastal region, the Andes inland, and tropic
al borderlands. Despite Peru’s strong macroeconomic performance, over-dependence on minerals and metals subjects the economy to fluctuation in prices. Coupled with poor infrastructure, this results in vast discrepancies in incomes. Approximately 45 percent of the country’s population, including the majority of the indigenous tribes, earns less than $1 a day.
Based in Lima, Peru, Bright Hope’s partner Segadores, seeks to reach the indigenous tribes of Peru. Segadores is Spanish for “harvesters” and their mission is to spread the gospel to the unreached indigenous tribes of Peru. Their work includes tribal investigations, missionary and pastoral training and community outreach projects to meet the physical and economic needs of the tribal communities. Segadores works with tribal communities all over the jungle of Peru, but the majority of their work is focused in three communities: Atalaya, Aoti and Pampa Mercado. Segadores has served in Peru for 50 years, training and mobilizing church leaders for ministry within their communities and isolated jungle tribes. The isolated tribes are suspicious of all foreigners because of the long experience of war and terror from outside, the fear and superstition planted by the witch doctors on the inside and their negative experiences with outside oil, rubber and lumber companies who have exploited them. The twelve churches planted by Segadores are committed to reaching out to almost 6,000 people by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and helping with basic physical, economical and educational needs. Bright Hope partners with Segadores to demonstrate “love your neighbor” in practical ways – from implementing literacy programs, nutritional relief and training, agricultural projects, providing medical and dental care, clean water initiatives, and leadership training.
The inhabitants of Pampa Mercado are immigrants from the valley of the Tambo River. They arrived in Pampa Mercado in 1998 to escape the terrorists who murdered their leaders. They took refuge at the top of the mountain within the land of the Aoti native community. The majority in this community are illiterate. Before they were forced to immigrate they supported themselves by hunting animals in the jungle and fishing in the river. Yet, the place where they settled in the land of the Aoti community is far from rivers and high enough that they do not have easy access to animals in the jungle. Therefore they have been forced to adapt and now they are subsistence farmers and gatherers. They support themselves by gathering wild fruits, insects and planting yucca, bananas and sweet potato in sma
ll quantities for their own consumption.
Bright Hope believes that the needs of the indigenous tribe living in Pampa Mercado must be addressed in a holistic manner. We are addressing the physical needs of the community through providing clean water, offering nutritional support in the form of a feeding program and providing care to orphaned and abandoned children. We are also building the long-term sustainability of the people through educational training. The local church is being strengthened through Sunday school training offered to the church leaders.
In July 2007 Mark Lennox and a short term team from the Chicago land visited Pampa Mercado. With the help of this team we started the foundation for the construction of the school which was a huge need for the community. Before the school was built, the children of Pampa Mercado would have to walk to school in the town of Aoti, about 2 hours away by foot, downhill on the way there and uphill on the way back. Many children were not receiving an education because they did not have the energy or ability to make the 4-hour trek to school each day. Lucho (the Pastor) and Antonia (serves the women and children of Pampa Mercado) realized the importance of education in order that the children of Pampa Mercado might learn to read the Bible and understand about God’s love for them. They longed to see the children have the opportunity to receive a proper education and the opportunity to learn to read and write.
The school in Pampa Mercado is a huge resource and blessing to those in the community. They are very grateful for the school and all it does for the children there. Something they would like to see worked on is the floor of the school. During the rainy season the classrooms flood with water as it seeps in through the roof and puddles on the dirt floor. As a result the children often study with soiled and wet feet. With a new floor in the school the children will be able to study in a more spacious, clean and hygienic environment, because a cemented floor can be swept, washed and kept clean. Unfortunately, in these communities, children are not valued, as they should be and we believe that if the Church values education and hygiene, local community members can also learn to value these same things. We trust they will be challenged to take responsibility not only for the lives of their children but also for their own lives.
Would you prayerfully consider funding the pavement project cost for Pampa Mercado? It would truly bless and encourage people like Lucho and Antonia who work so hard in serving the children and their families. Below you will find the budget for the program.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your consideration.