One recent Warren Wilson graduate is putting his education to work in Perú. David Andrews graduated from Warren Wilson in May 2006 with a major in Anthropology/Sociology and a minor in Spanish. For the past several months David has been living and working in Huancavelica, Perú, volunteering as a Young Adult Volunteer through the Presbyterian Church. He works with the Non-Governmental Agencies Helping Hands and ATYIPAQ -- Quechua for "to be able."
Huancavelica is a small town high (12,000') in the Andes about 12 hours east of Lima. It is also one of the poorest regions in Perú, with the majority of the population living in what the Peruvian government calls extreme poverty. "Extreme poverty" basically means that a family cannot always provide basic shelter, food or clothing for its members.
David has many responsibilities, ranging from teaching English to kids ages 6-12 to working on construction of a library and cafeteria.
"Every day brings something new," David says. "One day I might be sitting outside of the governor's office waiting for hours and hours for a signature, and the next I might be giving a lecture at the local university."
David hopes to be taking classes in Quechua soon. He will be in Perú for eight more months.
"At first when people asked me why I left my family, friends and everything familiar for an entire year, I didn't know what to say," he says, "except that it sounded like a good idea at the time. But now I know I'm here to learn.
"Sure, I work long hours everyday on projects trying to help out where I can, but the reality is that every day I learn something about another culture and people. I hope to begin the real work based on this knowledge when I return home."