Jeremy Ducos just checked in by phone from Peru. The group is doing really well. Phone service is limited as they are situated on the top of a mountain. It is 94 degrees and they have been building a soccer field. By the end of the day the students are exhausted, but express gratitude for the opportunity to work with each other and the community. Jeremy says that the group is amazing. They've jelled very quickly and act more like family than friends. More than anything else, he says the group is moved by the happiness of the families that have hosted them, despite the extreme poverty in which they live. When the group returns they will share photos and videos of the towns they are working in and the living conditions of the townspeople. Jeremy describes some homes as having two rooms housing sometimes seven family members. The homes have no running water and dirt flooring, but the life inside the home is loving and joyous.
After volunteering at the orphanage and meeting and interviewing community members, the group has already committed to carrying on their work when they return to the States. They've discovered that for many townspeople in the area, by the time kids reach their teen years, girls become pregnant and boys join gangs. Prospects for upward mobility are very limited. The cost of the best education in Lima, however, is only a few thousand dollars. The group has already discussed committing to maintaining a relationship with one young person apiece. They will do this by handwritten letters in order to check in and encourage the child to stay in school. Ultimately, their hope is to fundraise enough money for their child to get a better education to increase their chances for better health and greater success.
The group is sad that it is already Wednesday. They don't want the trip to end.