Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New School in the Jungle

History of Past Projects
In 2004 PAC Tour in association with the Christ Lutheran Church of Sharon, Wisconsin began building a school near Iquitos Peru. This school in the Village of the Dolphins was named in honor of PAC Tour rider Jack Wolff. Jack had contributed much to the building of the school and died in a cycling accident a month before the school was completed.

The village of the Dolphins is nine kilometers outside the city limits of Iquitos in a very poor area. The village is thankful to have a school in their region. Jack Wolff School has continued to grow from 200 students to 500 students during the past four years.

The cost for the Jack Wolf School was about $30,000 for a seven room building. We bought desks, tables, chairs and other equipment for the school. The installation of electric was an extra $5,000 to allow the school expand to night classes. In 2006 a building addition with bathrooms, sewer and septic was donated by the country of Spain for a cost of an additional $50,000. The bathrooms cost more than the school but the country of Spain had a bigger budget than we did.

Planning a New School
In November 2007 our PAC Tour group returned to Iquitos. We visited the Jack Wolff School and participated in the dedication of the new lights and electric. The next day we drove by taxi 30 miles out into the jungle region. We went to an obscure roadside path at kilometer #46 from Iquitos. From there we hiked into the jungle another three kilometers to the Village of New Triumph. We were scouting the location for a new school to be build in this remote region.

We met with the village directors about what needed to be organized to build a new school. The directors had already gained approval from the government to have five teachers supplied to the village. The 70 parents at the village would donate the land and build the school. We hired an engineer for the cost of $500 to visit the site and make a plan for the type of building possible. The school would need to accommodate 200 students and have seven classrooms.

The engineer made plans to build a seven room school with bathrooms included. We wanted a total budget to include desks, chair, bookcases and everything the school needed to be operational. The total cost came to $55,000. The cost is higher than our original Jack Wolff School but the price is realistic considering it includes bathrooms plus the increased 20% cost of building materials since 2004 and the 20% decrease in the value of the dollar. We have some friends in Iquitos who would oversee the construction and keep the costs within the budget.

We evaluated the costs to build the new school and if this was a project we could commit to for the 2008 season. We had received some very generous donations toward the Peru Projects in the past three months. PAC Tour rider Brenda Pulley volunteered to contribute matching funding for the school. We had now collected $40,000 toward the New Triumph School at KM #46. We still had $5,000 in the account to continue our support of the Ann Marie Book Delivery Project and helping the orphanage projects we have supported in the past.

Construction Begins
In January 2008 we sent $10,000 to our friends in Iquitos to begin construction. The school is planning to be built in time for the next school season to begin in April. Our plan is to send the $40,000 we have collected for building materials as needed during the next three months. The school will be 75% finished but operational enough to be open for classes.

More Funding Needed
The final $15,000 we need to complete the school at New Triumph Village will be our fund raising goal for the 2008 season. Based on the generosity of PAC Tour riders in the past we hope the school will be totally completed before November 2008. We are planning another cycling group tour to Iquitos in November as part of the “Race Through the Jungle” 60 mile road race. We will stay in Iquitos several days and participate in the grand opening ceremonies of the New Triumph School. Details of this tour to Peru are covered on the PAC Tour web site.

If you would like to contribute to the completion of the New Triumph School you can make a Tax Deductible donation to:

Christ Lutheran Church Peru Fund
P.O. Box 303
Sharon, WI 53585

More updates will be added to this web site each month about the progress at the school. We thank everyone who has contributed to all the Peru Projects during the past five years.

If you would like to see an entertaining 35 minute DVD of these assorted projects across Peru please contact Lon Haldeman at....haldeman@pactour.com.


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