This was a life changing moment for me!
Getting to go on this year’s Peru trip was a huge honor for me and it also opened my eyes to how the work we are doing at Altar’d State is directly impacting the lives of the people of Peru. I am so grateful for the opportunity to see the schools, learn about the history and culture of Peru, and learn more about Coprodeli and our partnership with them.
We got to do some pretty amazing things while we were there, but my favorite memory was meeting my sponsor child, Sheyla. Our giveback mission really clicked for me in that moment. I have been her sponsor for over 3 years, but being able to actually meet her and play with her for an afternoon was a life changing moment for me.
I had no idea before I went on this trip the magnitude of what Coprodeli is implementing in communities all across Peru. I am so proud to work for a company that partners with such a worthy organization. I was so impressed with how nice the schools and outreach centers were kept. The communities near them are thriving and while extreme poverty is riddled throughout the country, the entire atmosphere shifts within the walls of these centers. There is hope. There is joy. There is laughter. There is support. We are so blessed to be a part of this bigger picture.
The Peruvian people were so happy and content. Every child we met wore their uniforms with pride and radiated joy in their countenances. I loved interacting with them. Even though at times there was a language barrier, playing games and laughter is universal. Being able to disconnect from my world and be present in those moments with them is exactly what I needed.
Another one of my favorite memories from the trip was going with some of the kids to their homes to deliver humanitarian aid to their families. The first home I went to was that of a girl named Norka’s. Her father greeted me at the door and welcomed me into their home. He called her mother to come over as well to meet me. She had been working in the market that day. He talked about how proud he was of his daughter, and all his children, and how he wanted so much more for them. He offered me a glass of Inca Cola, which I was excited to try for the first time. They call it liquid bubble gum because it is so sweet. It was way sweeter than my taste, but I was so honored that they brought out such a treat for me as the guest in their home. I sat with them and they laughed as I drank the entire glass of that liquid bubblegum. I have had enough Inca Cola in that one experience to last me a lifetime, but I was so humbled to be treated with such kindness and hospitality by people who had so little monetarily.
Of course, seeing the country, learning about the history and culture, and tasting authentic Peruvian cuisine were all incredible experiences for me. I would love to be able to go back to Peru. It is a significant country to me now. I hope to be able to go back to Peru one day soon. I again want to thank Altar’d State for sending me on this trip.