Sol Sol in Action
2016: New Classroom Construction
The worker representatives have voted to use Fair for Life funds, collected this past season, to build another classroom for the children in the local community, (similar to the preschool project below). This 2016 construction project is to include improvements to the bathrooms and outside recreational areas as well. As this exciting project begins in June 2016, we’ll share images of the project.
2016: Two Teachers for Local Schools
Sol Sol’s Fair for Life Worker Representatives signed an agreement with Enseña Perú to provide two talented and highly motivated graduate students, to teach in two community schools for two years, (using Fair for Life premiums). The teachers arrived just last month (end of March 2016) and the community is thrilled to have them working with the children, (the focus is reading comprehension and increasing math skills)! These professionals will assist and complement the current staff, as well as each of the school’s directors.
2016: Water Storage Improvements
With the rainy season soon to arrive in Piura, Sol Sol’s Fair for Life Worker Representatives voted to purchase large water drums with lids, which hold 40 gallons of clean water. These large drums (for 1200 workers) store more water than the smaller buckets and tubs they replaced, keeping each family’s water supply clean and free from becoming a home to disease-carrying insects. Besides providing larger amounts of fresh water, they also assist the worker families by making household chores much simpler than before.
When the rains arrive, (February through March), it will be easier for the workers to stay healthy since these water drums will provide easy access to clean water. A typical wet day during the rainy season can produce 5 1/2 inches of rain, so it can be challenging to keep water clean. One of the most dramatic El Nino events occurred in 1998 when Piura received 157” of rain.
The Zika virus, which is carried by mosquitos, is another major concern for Sol Sol’s workers, as extra rain creates standing water which brings mosquitos. And having clean water close-by becomes even more important when communities experience transportation issues caused when local infrastructure is challenged by these intense rains.
2015: New Preschool
Sol Sol, in the Alto Piura valley of Peru, has just finished building a preschool with Fair for Life funds collected from last year’s crop of tasty organic grapes (approximately $35,000 was collected). This lovely new school is close to the grape fields, where approximately 1/3 of the local population is employed. A blessing was held at the school March 23, 2015, as they welcomed 110 young children who will be attending (pictured below). These young children, ages three to five, are excited to be in their new school, as this new building replaces one that was very basic.
The colors of the walls, both inside and out, are inspiring; the exterior is bright orange and the inside walls are painted yellow and green. Even the bathroom mirror’s mosaic tiles are meant to spark creativity, utilizing shades of chartreuse, deep reds and corals. A special presentation platform was also created, previously just a dirt floor, and is used for special events and outdoor activities.
Sociedad Agricola Saturno, the grower, packer and exporter of the Awe Sum Organics / Sol Sol co-branded grapes has been investing in the local area since 1997 by providing knowledge, technology and equipment to grow fruit and vegetables in the most environmentally responsible manner. They assist the Fair for Life grower committee with logistics and finances and have financially supported other improvements to their local communities, including; bringing electricity to households, development of the sewer system, teacher training, construction of a water reservoir, and many others.
More information about Sociedad Agricola Saturno (Sol Sol) can be found here.