I am continually amazed and humbled by the work that RPCVs continue to do in the countries where they once served as PCVs. Recently I received word about another amazing project, this time in Peru, carried on by a handful of former Peru Volunteers. These RPCVs have established the Chijnaya Foundation and they work directly with villages in hard to access, under-served areas of the Peruvian Andes. Among the RPCVs on this foundation board are Ralph Bolton (Peru 1962-65) who contacted me, Peggy Slater (Peru 1966-68),  John Rouse (Peru 1966-68), Connie Jaquith (Bolivia and Peru, not sure of her dates). Other former RPCVs who were early organizers are Andrew Hoffman (Peru 1966-68), Raymond Rifenburg (Peru 1966-68), and Paul Doughty, a Peace Corps trainer in Peru in the early ’60s, Rolly Thompson,  a consultant to the foundation, and Judith Haden, who was a PCV in Central America. 

As I said, the The Chijnaya Foundation works directly with struggling communities in hard to access, under-served areas of the Peruvian Andes. Though small, the Foundation has achieved great success already by having the local people manage micro-loans and arrange direct participation by all those who benefit. This insures that every dollar donated has maximum impact. These RPCVs are knowledgeable, dedicated, tough and are able to build on relationships that go back 50 years to their early Peace Corps days. The villagers know the RPCVs who work with them and are grateful for the help.

You can help, too. Matching funds will triple the donations of first time supporters. To  learn more about this foundation just go to www.chijnayafoundation.org.  You can donate at the website via Paypal or send a check to The Chijnaya Foundation, 7344 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM87505.  Donations are tax deductible. (So, do it quick before Congress changes the deduction allowance!)

Benito Barrantes Family posing in front of new animal shed. Sheds protect cattle, sheep and alpacas from the cold, snow, rain, wind---and increase milk production and family incomes dramatically.

Benito Barrantes Family posing in front of new animal shed. Sheds protect cattle, sheep and alpacas from the cold, snow, rain, wind---and increase milk production and family incomes dramatically.

Ralph Bolton visiting old friends from his Peace Corps days (1962-65) in Chijnaya

Ralph Bolton visiting old friends from his Peace Corps days (1962-65) in Chijnaya