We did say our expedition would be full of surprises! Our Andean Expedition team arrived in Lima a few weeks ago ready to take on a whole host of challenges throughout Peru, Chile and Bolivia. As promised though, we made a brief stop to visit our community project in Villa Maria, and waiting for them was a pile of wood and some very enthusiastic local workers…
Various fundraising events this year put together by family, friends and work colleagues of ex-Quest Overseas volunteer Katie Ashbridge have brought some much needed funds for the project in Villa Maria. The great majority of these funds have gone directly towards building houses for the most needy families in the area, a huge boost to the area.
Anyone who has taken part in our Villa Maria project in the Peruvian summer (Jan-Mar) will remember Villa Maria as a hot, sunny place, where although there is great poverty, the warm weather creates a good atmosphere. This time of year is a different story however, with misty, cold and wet weather covering the city for half of the year. For families with makeshift houses (plywood, cardboard and anything else they can find), this makes for an extremely difficult time, and many children suffer from respiratory illnesses. With the swine flu epidemic being an issue in the area as well this year, the need for solid, warm constructions for these families is all the more urgent.
So who can blame us for taking advantage of the expedition team, who thought they were just stopping by to visit. In the end, they built the walls for an entire house in just one day – well done guys! Watch the video above to see the house being installed.
A dozen new houses have been built so far in the past month, thanks to funds raised by the Katie Ashbridge campaign, and more are on the way – thank you to everyone who has supported.