SWA employees once again joined an annual Peru solidarity trip organized by GLP.  It was the 9th  visit to various communities in the High Andes. Among them was Chacabamba where the group as annually funded school supplies for 165 children and added three microscopes for the new science lab.  In Quehue they delivered medical supplies donated by Houston’s Medical Bridges and funded construction of 20 vented stoves.




These stoves replace the smoke producing floor fires causing widespread respiratory diseases among Quehue’s women and children.   The stove is similar to the ones we  build in Guatemala but is adapted to the High Andes different style of cooking.

No tortilla plate here but an oven and two burners.  The stove consumes a very small amount of wood as compared to the floor fire, thus reducing deforestation and the work load of women and children who traditionally gather wood and carry it to the home for heat and cooking.

Help us provide forty three more families awaiting stoves in Quehue.  

You can provide a stove for a family with a donation of $100.00.



The supplies were an advance gift from the Southwest Airlines employees who will be visiting Chacabamba in September.   We are fundraising to provide the secondary school with elements to equip a science lab.



cuyes barn 3 P1050794

Built in the village of Coyabamba to provide a children’s hospice with  meat to improve the children’s diet and something the hospice can barter for other needed nutrients.

cuyes barn 1 P1050806

Building greenhouses and guinea pig barns has proven to be a sustainable way to fight children malnutrition in Andean villages.

cuyes barn 2 P1050813

cuyes barn 4 P1050808



By Kim Rex

peru group picture

I Recently led my 8th annual mission to Chacabamba, Peru with the paticipation of my fellow Southwest Airlines employees.  it was another WONDERFUL trip!

This annual mission to Peru began in 2009 with a goal to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu and do some humanitarian work at a local village –That is how we went to Chacabamba, Peru, a small village, 11,000 ft up in the Andes and near Cusco.  We were the first foreigners to ever visit that and other surrounding communities.

We bonded so well with the villagers that we all had tears in our eyes as  they sprinked flowers and confetti on each of our heads while pleading that we return and not forget them.


We kept our promise and have returned each year with what the village elders told us was their maximum priority:  providing EVERY child the required school and hygiene supplies so they can all be well prepared to attend school. We also funded and helped the villagers build vented stoves that have helped reduce respiratory disease and gifted each family with a warm blanket and other aid.

We improved the children’s school meal by building a greenhouse allowing the cultivation of  vegetables impossible to otherwise grow due to altitude, climate and poor soil.   We recently added a guinea pig barns – as that is the primary source of meat protein they have.  The project has been extended to two other communities where greenhouses and guinea pig barns have also been built for the school kids.
There were 25 SWA Employee’s (family/friends) on this recent trip, and we all had our checked bags filled with donations: SWA winter coats, soap, shampoo, and games for the kids.

Chacabamba has a passion for soccer. We met with the coaches of the teams to deliver the items donated by a store in Arizona- ‘Soccer Loco’; they generously donated 26 shirts, 48 pairs of shorts, 18 sweatshirts, 50 pairs of socks, and 4 soccer balls! The village leader met with us, presenting a signed request to bring soccer uniforms on our next trip. The leader said they would name the field ‘Legacy’ in honor of the support from GLP and the Legacy soccer club in AZ (coincidentally, my kids play for a soccer club called ‘Legacy’).
The next trip to Chacabamba, Peru will be in the fall of 2018.
Please contact us at if you’re interested in going!

October 2015

Nineteen Southwest Airlines employees joined our annual mission to the High Andes.  The group was led, once again, by Kim Rex who coordinated aid collection and fundraising projects prior to the mission.  The latter including a raffle of two donated Southwest Airlines tickets earned through the tickets for Time program that rewards charities according to the number of hours Southwest Airlines employees have volunteered in support of that charity.

The result was construction of a large greenhouse in Coyabamba where altitude, weather condition and rough terrain do not permit much cultivation.  Coyabamba is a very poor village where a priest struggles to provide meals to malnourished children.   Father Rene is now growing a variety of vegetables in his greenhouse and providing his hungry little guests with nourishing meals.


In Quisicancha,  adobe bricks were prepared in advance of our visit.   In response to a request from the community, we arrived ready to build a guinea pig barn.  Though these animals are considered pets in the USA and other countries, they represent the only source of meat protein in these Andean communities.

We returned to Chacabamba with a hundred pairs of tennis shoes that promptly found matching feet.   The community leaders had asked for blankets as the temperature frequently drops to emergency level.  We purchased 350 alpaca blankets in Cusco and distributed one to each family in Chacabamba and a nearby village we visited for the first time and certainly not for the last.

October 2014

Return to Chacabamba and Quisicancha

By Kim Rex, mission leader

The purpose of this mission was to fulfill our commitment to annually deliver school supplies to 345 children in the rural Andean communities of Chacabamba and Quisicancha. The volunteers brought with them a laptop computer downloaded with Rosetta stone that  was donated to the computer lab at the Chacabamba learning center.


We traveled three hours up the Andes to reach Chacabamba where we were hosted in a dormitory set up in the school’s dining hall.  We spent the afternoon working on the reforestation program and, in the evening, were visited by leaders of the community who welcomed us. The next day was a school day and the children had prepared a welcome ceremony during which they presented the volunteers with traditional dances, songs, and poetry. The school supplies and hygiene kits were delivered to the students after the ceremony and a laptop loaded with Rosetta Stone program was presented to the new computer lab at the learning center.

Divided in small groups, we spent the afternoon working with families doing whatever chores were needed (planting, harvesting,feeding animals).



The next morning, we traveled to Quisicancha where yet another wonderful welcome ceremony awaited them. School and hygiene kits were distributed to the children. A visit was made to the greenhouse built with our last year’s donation to provide better alimentation for the school kids. Everyone was happy to find it in top condition and flourishing with multiple vegetables. That was truly a great investment of our funds as the altitude and poor soil did not permit cultivating many of the vegetables the greenhouse now provides. A few hours were spent teaching the women how to make a special bracelet with material our team leader had brought. The idea was to have them make a bracelet we could sell and send them the money for. However, it was hard to make them understand that. They wanted to keep the bracelets. In the end an interpreter explained our intention and it was agreed that we would leave the remaining material for making bracelets Caritas could sell at their non profit store in Cuzco where other items such as weaving made by cooperative they support are selling well to tourists.

* Click here to view sample Peruvian trip itineraries *

** Peru Annual Trip Photo Slideshow **


Quisicancha, Peru :: April 2013 :: by Kim Rex

chacabamba 042013

It was so great to see once again our Peruvian friends in Chacabamba and Quisicancha,  Our annual mission provided school supplies and hygiene kits to 300 students.  Four complete computers were also delivered for the purpose of creating an after school class at the local learning center operated by Caritas Cusco.   This was our 5th annual visit to these villages.  Thirteen Southwest Airlines Employees and  family members  made this trip possible.  We had so much fun spending time with these communities, working together to continue building our relationship and provide much needed aid.  It is amazing how these humanitarian trip allow you to work side by side with the community!  We were given the opportunity to help plow the field, by hand, for papas.   We also purchased the needed to paint for their school building project, and painted the ceramic face decorations which represent good health and prosperity.

July 4, 2012

by Mireille Hanna

Just as we have done for the past four years, Global Legacy Program volunteers returned to the High Andes at the start of the Peruvian school year to fulfill an annual promise of providing 300 children with school supplies and hygiene kits.  A heartwarming reception awaited us in Chacabamba where the school band and two hundred schoolchildren greeted us waving handmade Peruvian and USA flags.

Our volunteers painted the exterior of the weaving classroom that your donations helped complete last year.  Much shopping was done in the weaving classroom as the quality of the Chacabamba weaving is now irresistible.  The women are quite proud of their creations and very pleased to be selling at a fair price.  We loaded up on purses, bags, and gorgeous table runners.

We delivered two computers to the secondary school where students from all three schools awaited us to offer a delightful performance of traditional songs and dances as well as a delicious lunch prepared by the schoolteachers.  It was then time to roll up our sleeves and help a widow harvest her potatoes who insisted on paying us with a share of her harvest for our dinner.  Our visiting GLP team of volunteers also made good use of their time to thatch a roof after traveling to higher altitude to cut it.

Following our Chacabama visit, a wonderful reception awaited us at Quisicancha where we stopped to deliver school and hygiene kits to the children.  Those who participated in last year’s mission will be happy to know that the stove they built in the school kitchen is functioning quite well.  Mothers take turns preparing a nutritious breakfast for the children.

THANK YOU APRIL 2012 TEAM …you did a great job!





To view additional information about our trips to Peru, click on the links above to read sample itineries and view pictures of our 2011 visit.  Better yet, come join our next visit to Chacabamba or to one of our other projects.Mireille Hanna and the GLP All-Volunteer Team

January 2012 Message

Skin graft surgery saved Frida Aquino’s arm before severe burn injury resulted in infection and amputation.    She is now undergoing therapy and on her way to full recovery.  The adolescent girl was injured in a bus accident.  The small compensation she received from the bus company barely sufficed for the initial care she received upon arrival at the hospital.  Your donations made It possible for us to respond to an appeal from Caritas Cusco to save Frida’s arm.

The 24 participants in our March 2012 mission to Peru will be delivering hygiene and complete school supplies to 450 children in 3 isolated Andean villages.   The   secondary school of Chacabamba will receive four more computers and books to start a new library.  Funds for the books were donated by the students at Wichita’s East High.

How you can help:

:: Contact us if you can organize a collection of Spanish books.

:: Click here to donate any amount towards the purchase of a book.

:: Click here to donate $10.00  for a hygiene kit.

:: Click here to donate $20.00 for a school kit.


 July 2011 Message

Rina Paricahua and Noemi Alendez completed their pastry course and, because they are eighteen, have now left Villa Martha orphanage.   They are living with relatives and have jobs as pastry chefs.   Thank you Gail Kurtz and Janet Dexter for raising the funds needed for the girl’s pastry courses by hosting a dinner party and auction at Gail’s home in Berkeley, last year.   Villa Martha Orphanage in Lima, is an extremely well run institution  that prides itself in providing a skill that the children can use to survive once they have reached the age of eighteen and must leave the safety of its walls.  Courses in sewing, shoe making, carpentry and baking are offered on the premises.  Sponsorships are sought for talented children interested in a variety of specialized courses not offered at Villa Martha.  Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring such studies.

Our work in Peru now extends to the Andean villages of Chacabamba and Quicancha.  A report on those projects now follows.



Click on the image for a wonderful slide show from Chacabamba, Peru

Both villages are located in the High Andes, three hours’ drive from Cusco.   Quisicancha (12,000 feet above sea level) is the poorer of the two communities.  The harsh climate does not permit much cultivation except that of the potatoes.   They breed Guinea pigs consumed only on special occasions such as our visits.  The children are sickly; all seem malnourished and have stomach parasites.   The situation in Chacabamba is slighter better; its location at a lower altitude allows some cultivation resulting in a better diet and the possibility to raise and feed chickens and some large animals.

Our inaugural visit to these communities included 17 Southwest Airline employees who brought 200 blankets for Chacabamba and funded 12 high efficiency wood burning stoves for families in Quisicancha.  Our volunteers actively participated in the stoves’ construction, working hand in hand with the families receiving them.

Two months later, I visited these communities with our generous supporter, Bob Millonig.  A  locally purchased new  wool blanket was offered each of the 100 families in Quisicancha and hygiene kits to those of Chacabamba.    The visit was a research trip aimed at meeting with community leaders and elders  to establish a base for a long term relationship and jointly create a realistic wish list that would include projects  that would bring improvement in the area of health and education as well as provide tools for community advancement.Surprisingly, the first item both communities placed on the list was school supplies for their children.  They explained that they barter their meager crop for other food necessities and do not have the cash needed to equip their many children with required items.   The teachers we met were highly motivated but discouraged by the sight of children arriving with a few sheets of stapled brown wrapping paper in lieu of a notebook.   We agreed to provide an entire set of school supplies for 400 children at school start in March and to equip the community with new motors for their mills so as to allow them to sell their crop at a higher price  and triple their revenue.We also committed to continue building stoves in Quisicancha till each of the 100 families has one.  The stoves replaces the traditional three stone fires and offer many advantages:  The wood is placed in an elevated and enclosed space thus almost eliminating the  severe burn injuries frequently suffered by women and children.   The stove is vented through a pipe that takes the smoke entirely out of the one room mud house, thus reducing respiratory ailments suffered by the entire family.   Once cooking is done, the venting pipe is shut to conserve its heat and warm the house.  Environmentally, the stove also marks some progress since it consumes considerably less wood than a floor fire; an advantage appreciated by women and children who traditionally carry it on their backs over long mountainous distances.   Prior to returning to Cuzco we visited the Chacabamba’s secondary school and were very impressed with its faculty and students.    Attending the school involves as much as a two hour walk for many of its highly motivated students.  First on their wish list were two items: computers and more teachers.  A month later we sent funds for five more stoves in Quisicancha and the purchase of a door and windows for an unfinished classroom in Chacabamba.    School supplies for 400 children were ordered and delivered on time for school start in March.   And, thanks to the firm Quotient of Washington D.C., another dream came true:  five Computers for the secondary school in Chacabamba!

All those who participated in our fourth visit to Chacabamba will never forget the reception that awaited us when we reached the hamlet after a breathtakingly beautiful three hours drive through the high Andes.  The school band stood on the road and invited us to make our entry on foot, behind the musicians.   Children from both schools lined the way applauding and singing our welcome.  At the heart of the village the entire community awaited us.  The elders and leaders dressed in their colorful traditional hats and capes, two of them  ceremoniously blowing on large conch Shells.  The way up to our hostel was lined with women who showered us with flower petals as we walked under arcades of pine branches and flowers.   We were treated to dances performed by the young and recitation of poetry  elaborated for the occasion.  We were invited to participate in the dances and in a festive tug of war.   Bob, Kim, and Mireille received shawls, hats and other handmade gifts.  All of us were moved to tears.  The thought on our mind was that we had done too little to deserve so much.  In response, we were told that what we had done for the community during the past year was something it had never experienced: We had offered significant unconditional support.  No political gains, religious conversions or concessions of any sort were expected in return.

We spent one of our days in Chacabamba delivering computers to the school as well as hygiene and school supplies to each of the children.  Later, we joined the villagers in harvesting lima beans and digging out potatoes .    In Quisicancha another great welcome awaited us.  Several unfortunate Guinea pigs were slaughtered and roasted for the banquet honoring our visit.    After distributing school supplies to the children our volunteers helped make adobe bricks for the high efficiency  stoves we funded.

We departed for Cuzco after hugs and embraces were shared with countless men, women, and children who begged us not to forget them.  Sitting in the van, happy, exhausted , and  feeling each one of my 67 years,  I watched the village disappear  in the clouds and  thought  with immense pleasure that  the days we had spent there will be just as precious a memory  to our hosts as they will be to us, their enormously grateful guests.

They were not  forgotten.  GLP returned that summer with graduates and teachers of Wichita East  High who built stoves and provided a hygiene kit for each of the 300 students.  In late March 2011, 24 volunteers led by GLP ‘s Kim Rex  participated in a mission that delivered school supplies and hygiene kits .  A big plus were the wonderful soccer uniform paid for  by the Wichita  East High  students  who raised the funds in order to fulfill the promise made during their visit.

clicking here to