Cooperar Contigo collaborates with Cooperar Peru to raise funds for a school in Peru


Sydney Alper, Editor-in-Chief

Rachel Carr (12), Hannah Danzig (12) , Faith Lee (12), Prisha Anand and Neda Emdad (12) talk to Eduardo and Nolwann from Cooperar Peru via Skype. They discussed what Eduardo’s inspiration for starting Cooperar Peru and how he didn’t expect Cooperar Peru to become as big as it did. (Courtesy of Cooperar Contigo)

Every year, the final assignment for AP Spanish is to do a passion project, where students create a video about anything from the Spanish speaking world that they care about. Some students last year focused on the nonprofit organization Cooperar Peru, which helps the community of Tankarpata, Peru through education, health, and sustainable development.

Hannah Danzig (12), Neda Emdad (12), Prisha Anand (12), Faith Lee (12), and Rachel Carr (12) contacted the founder, Eduardo Huaynamarca. To start, the group held a Skype call with Eduardo and a volunteer from the organization to discuss how Cooperar Peru runs, which turned into a more personal conversation about each other’s lives. They said that the personal exchange inspired them to do more.

“As soon as we had that Skype call and then we talked to them a lot more, that’s what spurred our connection to them where we were like, ‘These are really cool people,’” Emdad said. “I think it was the fact that they did more than just education, like they essentially took on a guardian role in a lot of kids’ lives.” 

The students chose to focus on the education aspect of the organization and thus started Cooperar Contigo to raise funds for Cooperar Peru. The word cooperar translates literally as ‘to cooperate,’ but can be understood better as to work together. The name Cooperar Contigo would then mean ‘to work together with you.’

As of now, through donations and selling stickers the group has raised  $250, their goal amount. This money is now being sent directly towards Cooperar Peru to help build new classrooms for the school building and towards relief from COVID-19.

Cooperar Contigo sold stickers to raise funds for Cooperar Peru. In total, the group raised $95 from the stickers. (Courtesty of Cooperar Contigo)

It’s in a rural area of Peru, so a lot of the kids there don’t have access to a good public education, so they go to Cooperar Peru [where they have a school],” Danzig said. “[The children] also have access to things like food and water {at Cooperar Peru] because a lot of the kids there don’t have access to running water. At Cooperar Peru they’re also able to learn stuff like hygiene and be fed.”

According to the members of Cooperar Contigo, at the school in Peru there are psychologists available to help support the mental health of the children.

“[Cooper Peru] has people who are prepared to help these kids because a lot of them come form families whose parents are always working, Emdad said. “They might have come from families with mental illnesses or alcoholism, so they have people prepared at Cooperar Peru who can help those kids not only through education, but also with their mental health.”

During this time of COVID-19, the money that Cooperar Contigo has raised will be used to help the families affected by the pandemic and to build a better school building for the children. The pandemic has also meant that almost all of the volunteers for Cooperar Peru have left, making the work of Cooperar Contigo even more important.

 One of the volunteers, Nolwenn, still keeps in contact with the members of Cooperar Contigo about how Cooperar Peru is helping their community right now.

“She sent us a message of her and some other volunteers working and they were handing out drinks and food and cleaning supplies to communities in need because the Peruvian government wasn’t able to reach out to a lot of the communities in need,” Lee said.

Because the group reached their donation goal of $250, Nolwenn recommended that they make videos of English lessons to better teach the children in Peru more conversational English. The members of Cooperar Contigo Plan to teach the children in Peru about key phrases and about life in San Diego.

“We’re not teaching them a whole new language, but just a couple key phrases that they can use, while also [teaching them] about a different culture, which is fun for them,” Emdad said.

To make these videos, the members of Cooperar Contigo collaborated on writing scripts. According to Emdad, they were written in an interactive, conversational format so that the children would have an easier time learning. She said that they also mixed Spanish with English, as the videos are made for beginner level learners. The goal of the videos is to build the confidence of the children’s speaking abilities.

“These English lessons are important for us because it’s always beneficial to learn a new language, which we have all learned through taking Spanish classes all the way into AP,” Emdad said.

Through these lessons and the donations, the members of Cooperar Contigo said that they are proud to help an organization that has a great impact in Peru.

“[Eduardo and the volunteers are] so passionate about their organization, it kind of rubs off on you,” Danzig said. “When you see someone so excited about what they do, it’s like I want to help them complete their mission.”

To learn more about Cooperar Contigo or purchase a sticker, visit their Instagram.