During a recent trip to Sacred Valley, Peru, we installed playgrounds at 4 separate locations, 3 were above 13,000 fsl at high-elevation primary schools in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Unfortunarely, school was not in session, but we still received good help at every playground location. Our host and fabricator was the Cardenas-Torres family.
The first installation was in a village located above Calca, our home base. Partway up the Calca-Lares road, we turned east and traveled about an hour on a gravel road to Tt’io. It was one of the most scenic drives that I have been on. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating, cloudy with occasional sprinkles. At the primary school at Tt’io, we installed a swing set, tire climber, monkey rings, slide, and tether-ball set. Community members and teachers showed up to help with the installation. The community then fed us.
The second installation was at a comparatively low elevation. The primary school of St. Isidro Labrador Primary School is located on the highway near Urubamba, not far from Calca. There we installed a tire climber, slide, swing set, and tether-ball pole. The school had a swing set and teeter totter that needed serious repair.
The third installation was in a beautiful high-mountain valley. We were met by a teacher and headmistress. The school has an existing large tower structure with slides which needed repairs. We added a swing set, slide, monkey bars, tether-ball set, and small outdoor musical instrument.
The fourth site was located a short distance off the highway to Puerto Maldanado, about 2-1/2 hour drive from Calca. To get there, we had to go over a 14,600-fsl pass. Much of the community showed up to help with the playground installation, many dressed in colorful attire. The women’s hats were particularly notable. The primary school had an existing swing set. We added a slide, monkey bars, tether-ball pole, and outdoor musical instrument. A villagers used a chainsaw on a tree stump to fashion a mounting and seat for the musical instrument.
After the installation was complete, the community provided food for everybody. And they gave my daughter one of their fancy hats. It was all very cool.