Education the boarding pass to achieve our goals
Hi dear reader!
Before we get started I want to tell you that I am enjoying writing this text as much as eating my favorite dessert.
My name is Nohelia Gutierrez Huañec and my story began twenty-two years ago. I was born in Cusco among mountains and lagoons. My parents are teachers in rural schools, and for this reason, I studied my primary education in a village that is four hours from Cusco. This tiny place was beautiful and was ubicated near a river. The river was called in Quechua “Haurcaysillo” which means “Big Talker” because its strong sounds seemed to give messages to the population.
In Peru, education no is a spotlight to the government. This situation is worse in rural areas, my school didn’t have a library and some of my classmates had to walk under the sun for an hour to get to school. For the villagers, studying for a professional career was almost impossible and they believed that only a few privileged could reach that level. As a result of this, my parents did not leave me at peace with maths. However, the lecture always was my refuge and my lifesaver to be able to dream.
I loved reciting poetries and I really liked telling tales on the local radio. I have a poem that says: “To each one there is a star which late or early will arrive, only is in know waiting. (…) Each star from afar makes a sign, pay attention to yours when it comes, is the happiness”.
So, just like my poem appeared an NGO that worked with schools in rural areas began doing projects in my school like donating books and giving us empowerment workshops. So, it was an excellent opportunity for me because buying a book was so difficult since my town didn’t have a bookstore. My father only bought it when he went to the city (every two months). Thanks to the NGO, I felt that I do matter and that my existence is valuable in this world because I discovered that I have a leader within me. Furthermore, I understood that education would be my boarding pass to achieve my goals.
I am a few weeks away from presenting my thesis to obtain a degree in economics. In addition, I am an alumnus of the Latin American Leadership Academy (LALA).
I was also the Coordinator of the “Explore” project in Costa Rica and I was the Coordinator of the Study Center of the Cusco Chamber of Commerce where I was able to participate in the First Meeting 2022 for the presentation of research projects for the future development of Korea and Peru.
My experience as an Ambassador of WLF
I am convinced that education is the means to build a better society and improve the lives of its inhabitants. I was an ambassador of the World Literacy Foundation in 2021 and it was an incredible platform to develop the project that I longed for.
I wanted to do something to improve education in my community because I knew that somewhere there was someone like little Nohelia looking for her star to achieve her goals. Besides, I wanted to do the same thing that the NGO did with me with the donation of books. So, in the middle of the pandemic of coronavirus born “BooktoWorld” a non-profit juvenile organization.
We have two projects. The first is “YODONO” in which we donate books to rural schools that, thanks to the support of WLF, we have learned to raise funds. We currently donate around 2,500 books to different schools in Cusco because we believe that reading empowers people. In addition, we implemented the “Rural Library” project and we have already implemented one in the Paruro district, with chairs and tables so that students have a space to read.
Our second project is “Yachay Wasi”, this works virtually. In this project, we connected people with low economic resources that want to learn a new language such as English, French, and Quechua with mentors who wanted to teach these languages. The program during three months and each class is an hour and a half per week. With the program, we already have 60 mentees and 20 mentors.
BooktoWorld is recognized by the national youth secretary in Peru and by the Ministry of Education. Also, we receive donations from the North American Peruvian Cultural Institute of Cusco and work together with different local municipalities.
If you are thinking of applying to be a WLF Ambassador, I tell you that it is an amazing opportunity to make an impact in your community. You can have the support of the other ambassadors and make big friends. In each WLF session, I was given tools to start my project. Also, they showed me different impact stories that inspired me.
Author: Nohelia Gutierrez, WLF Youth Ambassador.
Instagram: @nohe.guthua. –