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Bolívar is a small town of 2.500 habitants, in the middle of the Peruvian Andes, at a height of 3.200 metres.
Its territory also includes 30 small communities, scattered over a vast area and difficult to reach.
We are in the Peruvian region of La Libertad, at its extreme eastern edge. People here live mainly on agriculture: they grow potatoes and hay for the animals; there is also some small herd of dairy cows. Someone is employed in public offices, but most of the adults go to look for work on the coast, men like farmers, women in service in some families. The consequence of this situation is that in Bolívar there is an age group almost completely missing; practically the children grow up with their grandparents.

The project “A school on the Andes” was born from a proposal of father Emeterio Castañeda, priest of Bolívar.
He has long realized that many children do not attend public schools, either because the distances to be covered are very long, or for the need of the families to have their children to work the land.

In 2011 father Emeterio has started a school in the parish. He has carried out a painstaking work to persuade every family of the importance of the study, ensuring that he would give the children a meal.
Later, he had to rent a house because the parish classrooms were not enough; in a short time, in fact, the children became 80.

The school employs teachers paid by the state. In Peru, indeed, the government ensures the payment of salaries even in private schools, if given enough guarantees. There is however the need to stabilize the lessons, and this is the weak point of the current school, because the rented premises do not allow giving this guarantee. The primary objective of the project is to ensure the continuity of school activity; that’s why a new school will be built, consisting of 11 classrooms and a secretary office. It includes both primary and secondary school, and about 250 children and teenagers are expected to attend.

Moreover a second phase of the project can already be glimpsed. There is in fact a larger and far away strip of territory from where the children cannot get to school even with long hours of walking. So it would be required for them a protected environment, a family-house with trained staff that will welcome them.

The contribution necessary to complete the entire project, lasting three years, amounts to € 391,036.40. The project includes the construction of 11 classrooms plus the secretarial premises, the purchase of the equipment, children’s meals and teacher’s training.

Details for expenditure items:
– Construction (design, material, labour, infrastructure) € 183.055,25
– Furniture and equipment  € 17.666,40
– Teaching materials € 11.919,84
– Training of the teachers € 8.462,82
– Children’s meals € 30.168,32
– Local coordination, administration, logistics, monitoring and local promotion € 61.556,49
– Project management € 39.103,64
– Administrative costs € 39.103,64.

Required contributions:
2014 € 301.940,95
2015 € 48.457,31
2016 € 40.638,14


The school was inaugurated on March 15, 2015.
For more updates on the status of the project, see the news and related articles on the side page.