The volunteer Experience
We primarily work with a growing number of families squatting in the Manantay slums of Pucallpa, Peru. They live without access to clean water, proper shelter, the means to an education & local first-line health care. Pucallpa, a frontier town at the edge of the Amazon Jungle in Peru, is rapidly developing with restaurants, shopping malls and plazas popping up throughout its downtown core.However, on the outskirts of the city are over 20,000 squatters who have traveled from more remote areas of this region in Peru, carrying hopes of opportunity. Often off the radar of other organizations, they are desperate for help, education, and medical aid.
The C.A.S.T. Program
The CAST Initiative- Construct a Structure Today – was built on the premise that all people deserve dry, protected living conditions to raise a family. The provision of safe shelter is a basic human right, and the Pure Art Foundation is committed to working with local tradesmen to create simple structures that provide not only a reprieve from the elements but the dignity of a home.
Annual trips by CAST supporters have created what we call the Pure Art Hub of Hope. The Foundation has worked tirelessly to strengthen a community by giving hope through education, health, and shelter. Only through the combined efforts of our volunteers can significant change occur in a sustainable way.
CAST team members will construct a home for a family in need, visit Pure Art school children enrolled in classes, travel up the Ucayali river to visit Shipibo artisans, and will witness sustainable change in the Hub of Hope.
Story excerpts from the final day of the 2015 trip to Pucallpa:
It seems like just yesterday we were hopping on a plane to Peru, but here we are, one week later, packing our bags, with paint on our clothes, dust in our hair, mud on our boots & memories to share. My second time here in Pucallpa, I feel that this year’s trip has given me a deeper understanding of the strong potential for change in the slums of Manantay. It won’t be a quick and easy journey of course, but I think that progress begins with awareness and this is the main objective of the Hub of Hope.
By building homes within close proximity to a medical dispensary, an educational centre for health, hygiene and prevention of diseases, a community kitchen and a sewing centre, our intention is to empower a community to embrace their right to a bright future. The change will take place across generations, as children are able to go to school, growing up with a sense of pride and accomplishment and passing this down to their own children when they have their own families.
– Melanie Guilbault