About 4 hours drive from Santa Marta, beyond the town of Riohacha is a village called Yaguacat. It nestles amongst stunted trees and brush in the Guajira Desert. This is an arid and sparsely populated area where the native Indian tribe known as the Wayuu live. When Oasis of Hope Charity first began this project, the children were barefooted, malnourished, wearing torn, ill-fitting clothes. Albeit, the area is still poverty-stricken, with the community living in mud houses, the children’s quality of life as risen significantly. The children are now more alert, healthier and eager to study.
Oasis of Hope started the school in Yaguacat in 2001. The school was situated under a tree with just a few students in attendance. The kitchen was nothing more than a wooden table set up in the shade of a tree. A nearby wood fire was used to cook the meals. Now, the school as several concrete-block built classrooms, with in excess of 100 students attending. Toilets and a kitchen have been built greatly improving the facilities there. However, the Wayuu still like to cook with wood on an open fire. This means that the women (men don’t do this work according to Wayuu culture) have to rise early each morning to go and gather the firewood for cooking.
Water is very precious as this area only gets about 12 inches of rain a year – that rain quickly soaks into the sand. To help alleviate the shortage of water, Oasis of Hope have built a well in the village. Clean water was found at about 18 meters and the well is now producing a permanent supply of life-giving water.
Poverty is still apparent, despite, the obvious advancements. Paola, one of our young students, had drawn a picture of a watch on her wrist – not one of the children actually have a watch there – yes, Oasis of Hope have made great advancements in providing some of the basic necessities in Yaguacat but there is still so much to do – please PARTNER with us to make Paola’s dream of owning a watch become a reality!