POTH PROJECTS - PAST & PRESENT
Path of the Heart is extremely grateful to all our donors. If there is a certain project related to our mission that you would like to undertake, we would be happy to work with you and/or your organization to discuss creating a plan for that project.
Please visit the Current Happenings page to see updates on all the great projects currently underway.
Projects for 2017
Universal Heart Restaurant moved to a new building—the response to the restaurant was so overwhelming that the leaders of the community of Ccorao built a community building and asked that the restaurant be moved to the first floor of that building .The building provides twice as much space for the same amount of rent and a fully built out kitchen, which was not available in the other location. The new location is closer to the school, providing a safer passage for the children from the school to the restaurant. The new restaurant has been running since February and it is proving to be much better for the children and the cooks. We are grateful to the Shapiro Foundation for providing start-up funds for the move and to purchase some new equipment.
Rainboots—due to flooding in the Ollantaytambo area, children were walking for hours in the mud to get to school there and with the help of Orchids of Light Foundation we purchased 40 pairs of boots for school children.
a. We are in the process of identifying a project to honor one of our long time board members who passed away earlier in the year. We will be making an announcement about the project as soon as it is approved by the board.
b. The community of Ccorao wants to create a library/computer lab in the same building as the restaurant. We will be discussing this project with them and determining how Path of the Heart might be able to work with them.
c. Chocolatada 2017—this is an event that is greatly anticipated and the number of villages served grows every year. We will be fund raising for that project in the Fall.
Projects for 2016
2016 was a very busy and productive year for Path of the Heart
Universal Heart Restaurant-The restaurant in Ccorao continued to thrive in its second year, serving 75-100 children 5 days a week. The response was at times overwhelming resulting in the need to have more than one sitting to feed all the children who came.
Chuffed Fundraising Campaign-due to the volume of children using the restaurant our reserves were depleted. An online fundraising campaign allowed us to keep operating and to re-build reserves. Solar lighting project-- A grant from the Shapiro Foundation provided solar lights for 30 lighting kits for families in the village of Marcani Pampa as well as for ongoing restaurant operations. The solar lighting kits enabled families to go into the fields at night to check on animals, provided light for the children to study, and to eliminate the use of kerosene lamps or candles after dark.
Blanket Project-Due to the extreme cold in the mountains we had an emergency project to collect funds for blankets which were distributed to children and families in the Andes.
Greenhouse Collaboration-we worked with Walking Tree Peru, a Peruvian non-profit, to facilitate the purchase materials for their project to build a greenhouse in the village of Cacchicata - Ollantaytambo for the villagers to grow their own vegetables. Volunteers came from the US and other countries to help build the greenhouse.
Chocolatada Holiday Celebration – Volunteers worked to bring hot chocolate, pastries and small gifts to 36 villages and 4000 children in December, a joyous occasion for all involved. Even though the volunteers had to walk to many of the mountainous villages and carry supplies by mule, seeing the smiles on the faces of the villagers made it all worthwhile.
In 2014 we were fortunate to receive a grant from the Shapiro Foundation for funding a solar panel for a school and community room and personal solar lighting and cell phone charging kits for 110 families in the village of Pacramayu. In addition Orchids of Light approved grants for solar lighting kits for 18 estancias in the Patacancha region to enable villagers to stay out in the fields to tend animals and crops. This grant served approximately 50 families since the estancias are shared. Orchids also funded a project to install a solar power energy and lighting system at the school in Calca along with 5 computers and software. Approximate 65 students will benefit from the project. The Universal Heart Restaurant in Ollantaytambo continued to feed the children. The Chocolatada Holiday Celebration was also taken to many villages in the vicinity.
In 2015 the Universal Heart Restaurant was moved to the village of Ccorao with great appreciation from the community and the children served. In addition The Shapiro Foundation and an anonymous donor jointly funded an education and solar panel installation in the village of Marcany. The project consisted of furnishing the school with computers and software, and installing solar panels in the school for the purpose of charging the computers and cell phones. The Chocolatada event served 4000 children and many villages.
PROJECTS THROUGH 2012 - 2013
Grants Received. In 2012 we were extremely fortunate to receive three grants. The first was from the Shapiro Foundation which funded the Universal Heart Restaurant in Ollantaytambo for six months and allowed needed repairs to be made and new equipment to be purchased. The other two grants funded solar lighting projects in villages of Chupanni Huaca-wasi and Tastayoc. In Tastayoc, the Ellen and Clarence Peterson Foundation provided funding to supply approximately 60 families with solar lighting for their homes. This was a life changing event and furthered the education of the children by providing light for schoolwork after dark, enhanced and improved health and general living conditions, and provided time for income making enterprises after sundown.
The Shapiro Foundation provided a second grant for a solar lighting and heating project in ChupaniHuaca-wasi. The school was lighted with solar panels, and a heating system was constructed to heat the school in winter. Previously due to extreme cold, the children were not able to attend school. In addition a wash house was built with hot showers for boys and girls and a pavilion with basins and warm water was built for washing clothes. The grant also provided solar lights for the families in that village.
In 2013, through our work with the Orchids of Light Foundation, a grant was received for a solar lighting and heating project for another village in the Chupani Huaca-wasi region. Both projects were completed in April 2013.
Path of the Heart has been able to furnish solar lights to some 650 families, including approximately 3,250 individuals. Still, twenty five percent of the population in Peru has no electricity. They virtually live by the sun. They rise at daybreak and go to bed at night when the sun sets. It gets dark in these villages by 6 p.m. so they have a very short day. What light they do have is from candles or kerosene lamps when they can afford to buy kerosene. With the addition of solar lights a family’s lifestyle isimproved immeasurably. The children can study after the sun sets; the parents can continue household responsibilities; income producing endeavors can continue such as weaving, knitting, woodworking, andother crafts. A mother may be able to start her own microbusiness weaving beautiful blankets or garments and increase her self esteem not to mention provide more necessities for her family. The sick can be better monitored and cared for. It is not unusual even today for a woman to give birth in the dark, lighted only by candles. A newborn baby may be saved by someone recognizing a life threatening condition and responding to it because of light revealing that condition.
Flood Response. Floods hit the Andes again in January 2013 and Path of the Heart responded with funds for blankets, food, and shelter.
Universal Heart Restaurant. Throughout 2012 and 2013 operations continued for the Universal Heart Restaurant in Ollantaytambo.
December Chocolatada Event. Every December Path of the Heart raises funds to send hot chocolate, bread, and small gifts to approximately 5,000 children in 25 villages over a four-day period. The number of villages and children may vary depending on the amount of funds raised and number of volunteers who help with deliveries but the goal is to bring joy to as many as possible. This is not a religious event simply one with a festive atmosphere often with volunteers dressed in costumes such as Santa or cartoon characters.
PROJECTS THROUGH 2010-2011
Universal Heart Restaurant. The Restaurant of the Universal Heart is the primary project of Path of the Heart. Hot lunches are served daily during the school week to 80-100 children all year long. Many of these children walk hours from their villages to attend school and without the restaurant this may be the only meal of the day for many.
Although the "Restaurant" is so named, there is no charge. Rather than calling it a soup kitchen, it is named Restaurant of the Universal Heart to preserve the dignity of those eating there. Located inOllantaytambo, the restaurant began in 2003 in a dark, windowless room where children lined up outside in cold weather to wait their turn to receive a meal. After the children finished eating, they walked outside to wash their dish and hand it to the next child in line. The restaurant was initially funded by Path of the Heart and a few concerned residents of Ollantaytambo. The next year, therestaurant moved to another facility, but it was still so small that the children had to line up to wait for meals. The present facility has a large bright dining room with windows and a separate kitchen where nutritious meals with fresh local foods are prepared for the children.
Aid for Flood Victims. The devastating flood of the Sacred River in January 2010 took a toll on residents of the Sacred Valley In early 2010, funds and efforts were directed to pay for emergency needs of flood victims in the Sacred Valley as well as ongoing costs of the restaurant. Path of the Heart provided food for many people in the Sacred Valley who were affected by the floods. In addition blankets were furnished to those in villages at very high altitudes during the intensely cold winters.
Aid for Villagers of Tastayoc. In addition to many local service projects, Washi also operates a guiding service for visitors to Peru. He takes his visitors into the mountains surrounding his nativeOllantaytambo where they can interact with local people in the villages and see firsthand the hunger and need of those living in the Andes as well as the strengths of local traditions and communities.Visitors on one of Washi’s tours to Peru’s Sacred Valley brought chickens, sandals, school supplies, dental hygiene supplies, hot chocolate and bread to villagers in the high mountain valley of Tastayoc. They worked on completing clay stoves with metal pipes for venting smoke through roofs. Previously, most of the villagers cooked over open fires in unvented, windowless houses.
Chickens for the Village of Willoc. Through the generous donation of Suzanne Stroh to Path of the Heart in memory of the inspirational Mama Santuza, chickens were supplied to the families of the village of Willoc. These families will raise the chickens to be sold to restaurants in Ollantaytambo, bringing income which is greatly needed to improve the families’ standard of living.
PROJECTS IN 2009
Village of Tastayoc. Public bathrooms and a shower facility were built for residents in the mountain village of Tastayoc. Water is heated through a solar panel. Path of the Heart raised $5,000 to construct this project.
Path of the Heart funded greenhouse and kitchen in Tastayoc. Plants raised in the greenhouse include vegetables used in the kitchen where children are fed hot meals daily. Path of the Heart provided the water system and supplies for the greenhouse; equipment and supplies for the kitchen; and the salary for the agronomist who directs the selection of plants raised in the greenhouse to optimize healthy vegetables used in the kitchen.
Aid for Victims of Severe Winter. Blankets were provided to villagers in Socma, Pachar, and QeroNation in the high Andes who were suffering from intense cold. Path of the Heart raised over $1,000.
December Chocolatada Children’s Event. In December Path of the Heart raised funds to send hot chocolate, bread, and small gifts to approximately 5,000 children in 25 villages over a four-day period.