A Program Update from Viviana, our Executive Director

Recently Viviana sent a first-quarter update to our board members, and she gave me permission to share it with all of you as well. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did!

Dear All,

As you all know, Doris is in Israel, learning about her Self and thriving as she discovers her own abilities to create a beautiful life and to reinvent herself. We are in touch almost daily thanks to technology; she’s still adjusting to the changes in time, weather, language, and the new culture; she enjoys working in the palm forest and learning to live in an anarchist society where each individual is her/his own leader developing ethical life for themselves and all other members in the community.

Our former volunteer, Romy, welcoming Doris in Israel.

The youth in Cusco are learning to understand themselves and their own actions. Avishai and I are going to the Cusco apartment once a week to spend quality time with them and to supervise their activities. Each kid is doing great at school, they appreciate the opportunity to have higher education and they see how important this is in a country like ours in order to provide for themselves.

The high schoolers in Urubamba are a delight! they all are doing well, maturing in a beautiful way and learning to deal with heir emotions and the changes that teenage life brings. They are thriving at school, all of them are top students in their classrooms and they are now preparing dances and sport competitions for the upcoming mother day’s celebrations. Sonq’o will be 16 years old on May 9th; right after he will have surgery to repair his nose’s septum that was broken when he was 3 or 4 years old; He never received care for it until recently that he began to have a series of sinuses infections and eye problems. We are working on obtaining health insurance offered by the government, if Sonq’o does not qualify for it, the operating physician will give us a break on costs.

Sonq’o will be 16! Wow.

Leo, our oldest kid, will turn 24 years old this year; he has been back and forth on his personal development and is often coming home looking for emotional support. He’s currently working at a 5 star Vegan Restaurant in Cusco where he’s learning a new cuisine and where he’s staying for the last 3 months! very unusual for him that was often leaving jobs after a couple of weeks. We talked with him regarding his tendency for self-sabotage and told him that if he showed he could stay at the same job for a minimum of 6 months we would work on having him go to Israel as he asked. We spoke with the kids living in Cusco about the possibility of allowing Leo to return to live with them; they all agreed about bringing him back if this will support his well being and his growth. If Leo was to return, it will be under very clear guidelines.

Leo is a brilliant chef who loves to create with fresh, organic ingredients.

Our volunteer Kiva, has requested to continue working with us until September, but to live somewhere else to maintain her privacy and to develop her own life while in Peru as she stated to us. This is a new model of volunteering; her participation at our program is limited to provide driving, English, Health and Sexuality classes twice a week. She began to teach English last Saturday afternoon, her class was a success! the kids were engaged and happy to have a private English teacher. Her driving classes are always highly appreciated since she’s a patient, understanding, driving teacher. Kellye, Ermelinda, and Belisario are preparing to take their respective driving tests in the next 2 weeks. Until now, Kiva was joining our staff meetings, apart from having a regular staff meeting, we’ll have a separate weekly volunteer meeting.

Kiva’s been bonding with Sol and the other kids during her stay with us.

A new volunteer is already on board to begin working with us from September 2019 to September 2020; our first volunteer planning to stay with us for 1 year!! His name is Leo, he’s French, 29 years old; fully tri-lingual (French, Spanish, English) currently living in Paris; works in Theater and Film both as an actor and as a director. Our kids are familiar with Leo since he stayed with us for a couple of weeks, and they like him a lot. We’re happy to have a young male role model for our boys.

We are grateful and very proud of our older kids living in Cusco; Ermelinda comes to Urubamba every weekend to stay with the kids until Sunday early evening; then Zenobia comes to stay with the kids through Sunday night and to make sure all are ready on time to return to school on Monday morning; Belisario comes every Saturday afternoon to teach Math, Geometry, and Trigonometry to the kids that need support on those subjects; Raul and Jorge come some weekends to organize hikes and soccer games; Jose joins some weekends when he’s not working; Ada is learning to live in Cusco as she started her preparatory academy to apply to Veterinarian School; Lisbeth is happy at the Arts School at the University Extension in Calca and she loves being able to continue living at the Urubamba home. 

Zenobia is studying to be a pastry chef and will be offering a breadmaking class to our guests soon.

I want to share with you some teachings from Yogi Bajhan regarding raising children; this beautiful teacher guides me in my attempt to guide our children: “We want to create dependable children, NOT dependent children. We want to give them basic values to face their tomorrows, not to be blinded by ours. We want to make them proper personalities, not helpless puppets. We want to position them for success, not to paralyze them with the commotion of our emotions” … this is a guide for us to follow, this is how we work with our kids.

Viviana Martinez
Executive Director, Ninos Del Sol

Viviana is a visionary, and we are all honored to support her vision in this project.

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