Some Walk 8 Hours for an Education
Tucked in the Andes of Peru, the city of Quera is nestled among beautiful mountains and valleys running clean, virgin water. About 1 hour from the larger city of Huanuco, Quera is home to one of the only high schools or secondary school in the surrounding area.
They turn their small and medium pieces of fertile land into farms that keep food on the table.
This region is populated by many small settlements of people, who found their home in the lands of their fathers and turn their small and medium pieces of fertile land into farms that keep food on the table and allows them to have the basics.
Most of the people that live in these remote areas are living in extreme poverty, and very often children's education pays the cost of living in poverty.
Children from these settlements typically have access to initial and primary schools within the boundaries of their settlements. All these schools are established by the government, somewhat government funded, but the basics are often missing.
When they graduate primary school and are expected in secondary, many drop out, start working; or simply just don't continue their education.
Many drop out, start working; or simply just don't continue their education.
Some of them see the distances they have to walk as a strong reason to not go to high school. The city of Quera is a central city that has one of these high schools. For decades, probably hundreds of kids did not go to school because it just wasn't feasible, or it simply was exhausting.
Father Terri is the local priest. He lives and works out of the city of Huanuco, but he serves towns and settlements tens of kilometers away; sometimes spends all day in is truck visiting these locations. He saw the necessity to provide these children the opportunity to attend high school and leveraged the power of his church to buy a building in the city of Quera and turning it into a home that receives teens from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon.
The rules are: you can't bring more than you need for the week, you must clean and organize your bunk every morning, you must study, you must pray in the morning before breakfast. You must do your homework, you must stay clear of bad choices, you must grow up to be a good person.
The are currently housing 30 teens, with an even 50/50 split between girls and boys.
We should have many Padre Terrys in the world.
I had an opportunity to walk the grounds and was impressed at the level of organization and cleanliness you could see and was told that it was the work of the residents to care for their place and keep it clean.
Every week the mothers that can, figure out who is going to spend the week at the home, so they can cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for the teens and keep them in tip top shape. They count on the contributions of all the families of fresh vegetables, and fruits that they can bring from their small farms; non-perishables are donated by the church, along with other things they need financially.
It really is a beautiful thing to watch these kids follow their schedule, and it is amazing to think that they all have the option to not come, yet they all want to, and that is inspirational.
Dear-Future.org is not currently helping the home in Quera, but we remain in contact to seize the opportunity when it presents itself, but in the mean time the church is doing a great job. We should have many Padre Terrys in the world.