Our Affiliated Project: Lourdes School in Santa Ana de Yacuma, Bolivia

 

The following are quick facts about the Lourdes School:

  • Ages served: 5 – 18 years of age
  • Education: Core academic subjects are taught in the lower grade levels. Not all children advance to the higher grades, but this number is increasing each year. Additionally, girls are taught art, handicrafts, dressmaking, embroidery, weaving, hairdressing and first aid. Boys are taught electro-mechanics. The school is well-known is well known for its widely-offered sports and music programs.
  • Academic year: Typically begins in early February and ends in early December. Students enjoy summer break from mid-December through the end of January and a two-week winter break in July.
  • Conditions of children: Many children who attend the Lourdes School come from broken families, or are homeless because of yearly floods, neglect or being orphaned. Almost all are severely malnourished.
  • Health: Children’s health is top priority. They receive medical care, nutritious food and vitamins.

The small, landlocked nation of Bolivia comprises rugged Andes Mountains and vast, high-altitude plateaus to the west (including a portion of Lake Titicaca, the largest high-altitude lake in the world) and lush, lowland plains of Amazon jungle to the east.

Despite its wealth of natural beauty and resources, Bolivia bears the scars of centuries of conflict, beginning with the Spanish conquistadors and followed by almost 200 years of wars and internal military coups. Political and economic instability have brought about considerable poverty, resulting in widespread malnutrition, crime and disease. The town of Santa Ana de Yacuma, northeast of Sucre, is no exception. In this remote jungle lowland, thousands of indigenous families eke out a living on small plots of land, living in terrible conditions of poverty.

Unfortunately, outlying areas of Santa Ana de Yacuma are also prone to destructive flooding by the two major rivers that converge nearby. In a difficult world where families struggle with few employment opportunities and malnutrition is rampant among the children, the Lourdes School serves as a beacon of hope. Founded in 1950, the Lourdes School is dedicated to providing education, care and safety for the needy children of this troubled community.