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Apurímac (City of Andahuaylas)

+ General Information
+ History of Paz y Esperanza
+ Current Work
+ Volunteer Opportunities
+ Testimonies

General Information

Population: 31,361

Altitude: 2926 m (9,600 ft) above sea level

Average temperatures: 18˚C (65˚F) 

Apurímac is in Peru’s sierra (mountainous region). Andahuaylas is the most developed city of the Apurímac department.  The native language Quechua is highly spoken in this region, with the majority of the population learning Quechua before Spanish.  In Quechua, Andahuaylas means “prairie of many colored clouds.”  

History of Paz y Esperanza

In 2005, Paz y Esperanza began work in Apurímac in the form of an 8 month project based out of the office in Ayacucho.  In the Apurímac region, the decades of political violence were very difficult, just as in Ayacucho, though attention has been given to this area.  The project focused on local development and the creation of a culture of peace among the Quechua communities. 

The office became independent from Ayacucho in 2007 when the first director began.  While the office is situated in the city, the majority of the work is in more rural settings and in partnership with local governments.  There has been significant growth, both in the area of post-conflict reparations as well as an increasing local development and advocacy focus.

Current Work

1.  Bilingual Intercultural Education of Quechua children (3-12 y.o.) from poor areas and Andean communities.  In the Apurímac region, Paz y Esperanza has proposed a bilingual, intercultural education model that provides lessons in Quechua along with the necessary learning of Spanish and maintains the rich social and cultural diversity of the Andean communities.  Paz y Esperanza supports the implementation of this model, the training of teachers, and the incorporation of the community.  Because of the model’s success, international organizations, such as UNICEF, are beginning to incorporate Paz y Esperanza’s educational material in this area. 

2.  Women's Empowerment Program.  This program is divided into 3 main activities:

  • Community Educators.  Community educators are women who use their native language (Quechua) and the radio to educate women on their rights to physical, psychological and sexual well-being, to the end of preventing further violence against women and children in the region.  These women have been recognized by the Ministry of Women as effective social outreach workers.
  • Job Skills Development.  In the face of violent or abandoned home situations, women are able to independent through job and entrepreneurial skills development workshops.
  • Advocacy for Women's Rights.  Through the help of Paz y Esperanza, women in rural communities are organized and trained to advocate for the government's participation in fighting violence against women.  Largely as a result of these women, various municipalities in Apurímac are promoting the creation of safe homes for abused women. 

3.  Holistic Mission of the Church.  In the evangelical church of many Quechua farming communities, a good number of church members are also important public figures.  With their participation, Paz y Esperanza seeks to encourage members of the local church in the holistic mission of the church, which includes being salt and light in their communities, addressing community issues and actively participating in their societies.

4.  Kuska - Education for Women.  Through educational and professional workshops, women in rural zones learn how to read and do basic math, develop social skills, and gain job skills, such as cosmetology, gastronomy, and sewing.   

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