Sunday, September 20, 2009
Pisco sin Fronteras
In 2007 an earthquake and tsunami impacted coastal areas in Peru – I’ve learned about several of the communities in my short stay here - El Chaco, Ica, and Pisco. Aid and volunteers with an organization out of San Francisco called “Burners without Boarders” helped with repairs in these communities. Burners inspired a Peruvian guy (Harold) to start his own group that would carry on the work in and around Pisco. We learned about his organization, Pisco sin Fronteras (www.piscosinfronteras.org), and decided to volunteer with them.
We arrived at dusk, deposited by our bus into Pisco’s waiting taxi lot. We chose our driver quickly; he assured us he knew where we wanted to go and we agreed on the price – 10 soles (about $3.30 US). He took us down a rutted main drag toward the sea to a place we’d researched the evening before on the Internet.
Our taxi driver seemed a bit lost. He asked a boy on the street if he could give directions. As it turned out the casa we needed was on our right and we only had to peer harder through the mottled smoggy light. In the first moments out of the cab we met three or four fellow volunteers in the street, exclaiming, "more had arrived!" In fact there were nearly 50 people here between two tiny houses. They were from all over: the UK, France, Denmark, Canada, there were Aussies and Kiwis, Californians, New Yorkers and now two New Mexicans. Some had just arrived, some were weeklong or even month long residents, and some had come and gone and returned again many times. I don’t know what their projects entail yet. I know there are some musicians among them because of an impromptu concert, and many play soccer and were off to a spot when we first arrived. Someone has told us about a biodiesel project – I’m sure we’ll learn more tomorrow.
There’s a cake lady too. Apparently she makes the best cakes in Pisco and before we traveled en-mass to the soccer game we stopped over at the house window from which she sells her cakes. Now I’ve got another bunk to sleep in and a lot to learn...tomorrow.