In late October (2016), my grandson Rees and I (along with members of the Cardenas-Torres and their neighbor John) visited a small primary school located high in Andes. Getting there was quite an adventure.
It took 3 hours by car, and we had to cross a pass that is almost 14,000 feet above sea level. On the trip, the altitude and winding road resulted in Rees getting car sick. It was not an easy trip for him, but he was able to hang in there.
Our destination, the village of Ccolcca, is beautifully sited beneath snow-capped Andean Mountains. Quechua villagers showed up (many in traditional garb) to either help with the installation of an outdoor musical instrument at the village primary school, and to check out the visiting Americans. The community provided us with a hastily put together meal of potatoes and local cheese. Before leaving, we promised to provide additional equipment for their school playground.
A month later, with financial help from my family, members of the C-T family returned to Ccolcca to install the promised playground equipment, equipment that David C-T and John had fabricated. This time they installed a swing set, monkey bars, and climbing tower. The equipment was an instant hit with the local school children.
Again the community showed in force, many dressed in traditional garb. The kids looked particularly cute in their elaborate costumes. We unfortunately couldn’t attend the festivities as we had returned to the United States, but Willow C-T provided us with some wonderful photographs.
At Christmastime 2016, the C-T family returned to Ccolcca is play Santa and to deliver gifts. Willow played Santa.