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Paint, Pipe Cleaners & Popsicle Sticks in Peru: Babble Cares

latism in patacancha

Mothers in Patacancha learn how to use computers for the first time.

Earlier in 2012, Babble launched a new project, Babble Cares, of which I’m proud to be a part. Babble will be doing various projects to support communities in need, and one of the first was carried out in a trip to South America in December.

Members of the Babble editorial team traveled to a remote village in the mountains of Peru (elevation 12,600 ft.) called Patacancha with LATISM, an organization representing Latinos in technology innovation and social media. As part of its sustainable development projects, LATISM went to Patacancha to build a cyber room, a place where the villagers can connect to the internet. Patacancha is isolated from transportation and basic needs, so the goal of the cyber room development was to allow community artisans to sell their naturally-dyed, hand woven textiles online, and to give children access to e-learning.

patacancha peru

Patacancha is near Macchu Picchu in the southern part of Peru. (look for the pushpin)

As part of the project to build the cyber room, Babble and Disney created and led a special summer camp (yes, it’s summer in December in Peru) for the children so their mothers could focus on their computer training. The kids in Patacancha aren’t used to having all sorts of fun art supplies, so when Babble showed up with bags of crepe paper, popsicle sticks, paint and pipe cleaners, they were thrilled.

Babble Cares summer camp

Making popsicle stick sculptures at the Babble Cares summer camp.

Upon arriving in Patacancha, Ana Roca Castro, the founder LATISM, and her fellow directors realized a few days of instruction wouldn’t be enough to ensure the villagers would be able to market their wares online, so they have decided to provide a computer teacher for a full year. If you’d like to donate to this project to help pay for the teacher’s salary, please visit the LATISM website here.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for more great Babble Cares projects in the future …

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