Alto Chicama

Alto Chicama's Community News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations

In support of public health recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization, some sponsorship program activities have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Activities may include sponsor queries and correspondence, sponsor visits, gift notifications and gift deliveries. These temporary suspensions may affect the information you receive from us in the coming weeks and months. Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The Alto Chicama community is located in the highlands of Peru's northern region of La Libertad. The soil in the highlands is rich in clay, but perhaps the most notable characteristic is the steep terrain and the presence of many small streams and waterfalls that come from the mountains. Families still use water from these springs and streams for drinking.

Most families here earn their living from farming, although crops cultivated depend on the elevation in the mountains. At lower levels, the rivers are often polluted by mining and crops suffer. Some families also mine carbon and minerals by hand. This is dangerous work that yields minimal income. Others work as manual labourers in nearby gold and silver mines.

The district is among the poorest areas in Peru. There is little electricity and most roads are unpaved. Fog and seasonal flooding make access to some parts of the community difficult.
Child Protection
  • 10 children's groups took part in a campaign to end violence against children, working to build a safer community for girls and boys.
  • 48 women and men from community partner groups took part in training, learning how to work more effectively to improve the well-being of children.
  • 2 community partners from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors worked with World Vision over the past year, improving the lives of children.
  • 300 children between the ages of 6 and 11 now own a backpack containing resources to promote reading habits and life skills.
  • 8 schools now have activities related to reading and or living together in their basic education improvement plans.
  • 600 children between the ages of 6 and 11 now attend Ludo libraries (spaces to encourage reading, leisure and play).
  • 1 meeting with national leaders about protecting children was led by World Vision, increasing awareness about child safety and protection issues.
  • 2 churches and faith-based groups are involved in planning and running child-focused activities, helping improve the well-being of boys and girls.
  • 11 schools with an up-to-date disaster preparedness plan, so that students are better prepared for and protected in emergency situations.
  • 1 disaster preparedness committee is now functional, working to help families prepare for, respond to and recover from times of crisis.
  • 1 local community with an up-to-date disaster preparedness plan, helping ensure that more girls and boys will be prepared for and protected in a crisis.
* Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Develop innovative approaches to teaching primary-aged children and increasing their learning capacity.
  • Partner with educational institutions to accomplish goals.
  • Establish reading programs to improve students reading comprehension skills.
  • Train teachers and provide them with resources to implement these new approaches.
  • Organize recreational spaces and innovative classrooms, including computer rooms, in schools.
  • Train guide parents to work with other families to reinforce learning at home, to ensure that children have a place to read, a small section of the family garden, or a place in any family activity where they can participate and learn.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Train guide mothers in areas like nutrition, hygiene, and early childhood stimulation.
  • Establish groups where guide mothers can pass on their knowledge to other mothers in the community, including information about healthy habits and the formation of values.
  • Organize community surveillance and local health committees to monitor the health and wellbeing of children.

Economic Development
To ensure the needs of Alto Chicama's families are met, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Teach children entrepreneurial skills, train them to think creatively and develop ideas to generate goods and services, and encourage them to take risks and solve problems.
  • Train teens in life skills, including communication, assertiveness, vision, and decision-making.
  • Encourage young people to develop a life project, detailing realistically how they see themselves in the future, and how they plan to get there.
  • Train teens in entrepreneurial skills, like creatively identifying viable income generating opportunities, developing a venture plan, networking, and management.
  • Work with youth to implement viable income-generating activities.

Explore Alto Chicama

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Alto Chicama

For children in most parts of Alto Chicama, getting a good education is nearly impossible. In the face of crushing poverty, challenging cultural traditions and superstitions, and their own lack of literacy, many parents cannot see the value of education. They don't understand the importance of early stimulation and its role in helping infants and young children develop good cognitive, physical, and social skills. There are very few preschool centres to help children prepare for success in primary school. Children often encounter a language barrier once they enter primary school as well, since classes are conducted in Spanish but families speak Quechua at home.

Sending children to school is very expensive for families battling poverty. A child has a better chance of getting an education if he or she happens to live close to a school, but even then there aren't enough available spaces. Conditions and furnishings in schools are poor, multiple grades are taught in the same room, and teachers do not have basic equipment like books and blackboards. As a result, 25% of primary-aged children are not enrolled in school. As they get older, more and more children begin working to help put food on the table, meaning that 71% of children aged 13 to 17 are no longer in school.

Health Care
Families in Alto Chicama do not earn enough to provide nutritious food for their children. Mothers are uninformed about good nutrition and feeding practices, so children generally eat a diet too rich in carbohydrates. As a result, 75% children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition. Drinking contaminated water, a lack of sanitation, and living in houses that do not offer enough protection from the cold and damp of the mountains also present serious difficulties to children's health.

Recurrent diarrheic diseases and acute respiratory infections are common in the area. The combination of these illnesses and the continued lack of nutritious food further entrenches problems like malnutrition. Another challenge is that most families get their drinking water from springs, which are easily contaminated. Although there are five small health clinics and a hospital in the area, they lack the staff and resources to provide adequate care for children and families.

Economic Development
In Alto Chicama, families are not earning enough to meet even their basic needs. The average income per person is US$15.52 a month, which is about half of the international benchmark for extreme poverty. In fact, 88% of families in the community live under the extreme poverty line. Although many families live off of subsistence farming or carbon extraction, or working in gold and silver mines, for those in more urban areas, income is still too low and unemployment is very common. Parents, usually fathers, often have to spend four to six months of the year migrating to find work.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Alto Chicama,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.