The Jill Pill

January 23rd, 2019

Positive Impact in Peru!

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Photo credit: Erin Sweeney

Part of what attracted me to join Remote Year was their partnerships with organizations to make a positive impact in the countries we would be visiting. In Lima, I was fortunate and grateful to participate in two events.


Beach Cleanup

Alt Text Here Photo credit: Helena Lovric

We helped pick garbage off the beaches of Playa Los Yuyos in Barranco, Lima. Unfortunately, the area had quite a bit of garbage and overflowing trash bins. Any guess what the most common garbage was?

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It was confetti pieces left over from New Years. I know this is a problem worldwide as people celebrate New Years and toss colorful litter into the streets for three seconds of enjoyment. We really don't think about how all these little pieces of litter will affect wildlife, water, the soil or how incredibly hard they are to pick up afterward. Please reconsider using confetti whenever possible and instead use flower petals, bird food, leaves, anything that is natural and can be safely dropped onto the ground without causing harm.

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During our clean up process, we were approached by local residents who spoke to us about their concern with the garbage. We learned that some people tend to be more lax about littering because they grew up or live in towns where there is constant litter. Even in the US, I frequently see smokers litter their cigarettes on the ground and no one bats an eye. Let's make littering uncool. You don't have to partake in a beach clean up to make a difference because we all know someone (perhaps even ourselves) who is guilty of littering. If you see someone be wreckless with their trash, kindly say something or offer to throw it in the trash for them. Here are some other creative ideas other countries have implemented to reduce litter.


Building a Home

Two of our Bourdain members serendipitously met the CEO of Make a Miracle Foundation, Rachel Canouse, while watching a football game. We were so happy that fate would bring us together and we are hoping that future Remote Year groups continue to volunteer with this organization.

Make a Miracles mission is to bring hope and lasting change to the community of San Juan de Lurigancho, Peru. Our leadership team and dedicated mentors empower and encourage individuals to transform their lives and community through college scholarships, housing, and community outreach.

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We took a day to visit them and see one of their community centers. The children performed a dance and a powerful poem for us, then we went outside to play. They were so excited to see us and they melted our hearts with their joyous energy and laughter. We were graciously fed a delicious lunch and then got ready to help build a home.

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Using an assembly line system we moved prefabricated walls up a steep hillside. Then we assisted with the assembly of the walls and tin roof. The home will need a new concrete foundation, but unfortunately, this will not be able to get done for a few weeks as the community currently has no running water. Political corruption has resulted in a faulty water system that has left millions with no water. For now, people need to wait in long lines to collect water.

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Photo credit: Erin Sweeney

This is Flor and Hilario, the recipients of this beautiful home. They are helping to raise their 3 grandchildren while their mother works endlessly. The father of the children is not in the picture and does not provide any kind of financial support. One of the grandchildren, Kelry, is disabled and cannot walk or talk, but, she has the most amazing and contagious smile. Kelry is very excited for her new home and our hearts are filled knowing we could help in making this possible. Please visit Make a Miracle Foundation and make a donation to this life-changing organization. If you would like to make a donation specifically to Kelry and her family, please put "KELRY" in the notes. Thank you for your consideration and kind hearts.

Alt Text Here Photo credit: Erin Sweeney