November 14 Fundraiser poster Nuestras Raices presentation was an incredible experience on so many levels. We want to thank
Nancy Park of Wilder Green Fund for her challenge to find a local way to match her $5,000 donation towards the Andean Legacy Programs at Kusi Kawsay.  This was the encouragement that inspired us to introduce Kusi Kawsay’s vision in Cusco and Pisac through a rich music and dance presentation of the ancestral Andean calendar that Kusi Kawsay follows everyday; and in this way present an opportunity to join in support of this important cultural work through education.

Apart from raising funds by selling entrance tickets, our international community was also invited and contributed graciously.  Ann Beckham matched all of these donations, as well as other donations that came in during this time, such as the annual London Benefit that raised $4,300 dollars this year! The local in kind contributions raised the value of this event even more. The Municipal Government donated use of the Municipal Theater (value of S/. 6,000 soles, approx. $2,000 dollars).  Also several local individuals and businesses generously contributed artwork, graphic design, and printing of invitations, tickets and flyers. Camera, lights, and sound technicians donated their expertise and time.

The Ministry of Culture showed great support by promoting the event, thereby endorsing Kusi Kawsay, and numerous radio programs and television producers helped promote the event with live interviews.  Not to mention the three two-hour rehearsals a week for a month by all of the participants, who wholeheartedly donated their time and talent. Iñakapalla Chávez (Administrator) and Shyntia Verónica Castañeda (Financial Coordinator) organized the whole event with their personal contacts to make it run smoothly and professionally. It was a great success on all levels, and we are so full of gratitude.  Since then, two other presentations, one in Pisac in November 2014, and one in Cusco June 2015, have taken place, also raising funds for Kusi Kawsay.  We plan to have more presentations locally, nationally and the big dream is maybe one day internationally!

We have a DVD of the presentation on sale at Kusi Kawsay for $15, which also continues to bring in more funds for the school.

Local institutions, organizations and businesses we personally approached and invited; several of which expressed great interest in working together in support of Kusi Kawsay’s vision. Important seeds have been sown for Kusi Kawsay’s future. The feedback from the public was amazing; several people tell of emotional reactions throughout the presentation, they were moved to tears because it was so genuine, beautiful and profound and momentous. In honor of our ancestors, this performance in Cusco strengthened our Kusi Kawsay group through team effort: bearing fruit, based on love and friendship, which have united us and allow us to keep growing our shared dream education based in our culture. Additionally, this demonstration of the vitality of our educational community attracts important local attention and widens our visibility.  As always, people are inspired by both the vision and the reality of Kusi Kawsay.

Now, in 2015, we face a great challenge: we have 100 children and youth in Kusi Kawsay divided into three levels: initial, primary and secondary.  Very little of our expenses are met by tuition. Parents are responsible for a percentage of the monthly tuition, according to a sliding scale system in which we consider the parents economic situation. We have the following scale of parental contribution:

Type of Tuition Tuition Charged (per month)
Soles Dollars
  1. Children from communities
 S/.     0  $      0
  1. Children from Pisaq
 S/.    40  $     13
  1. Single Mothers
 S/.    15  $       5
  1. Children from the city
 S/.  100  $     33

65% of the children come from the surrounding rural communities of Pisac, 15% come from Pisac, 15% are from vulnerable families and 5% are from families that come from the city.  Although not paying monetary tuition, the contribution of the parents from rural communities has been very valuable as they participate in community work gathering to repair the school premises. During the first community work gathering of this year, we worked on the green areas and on creating access roads. The Andean region rests on geological faults. Kusi Kawsay School is built in an area that was affected by a landslide seven years ago. This year we have planned several actions for disaster risk reduction to provide greater security to our educational community.

The operation of the school depends upon supportive people who receive this newsletter. The monthly budget, includes educational materials, teachers salaries, student nutritional needs and materials used in the educational service. We welcome you to be part of the education of these children through the opportunity to sponsor one of our children with a monthly scholarship of $135 (or $1620 per year), or by making a contribution for educational materials, books for our library, or other support for Kusi Kawsay.  And we thank those of you who already do so.

The donations made are tax deductible and can be made through Pachamama’s Path,  online at https://www.pachamamaspath.org/ or via check to 5543 Pelican Way, St. Augustine, FL 32080. Contact Ann Beckham at (904) 461-4575 for information on transfers of shares. The continuation of Kusi Kawsay depends on contributions from our worldwide community of supporters. With your help, our school can continue to thrive.  

Thank you very much for your generosity.

Urpillay Sonqollay.