News Blog

You can keep up with the latest project developments from the people on the ground making them happen via the BWB Blog. We want to hear from you and welcome your comments.

BWB completes first school!

Burners without Borders (BWB) is thrilled to announce the completion of and the return of students to the IEP Abraham Valdelomar school. The school, a small primary school in San Andres, was completely destroyed in the earthquake. This private school receives no government aid and charges students little or no tuition to attend. The completion of this school has allowed students to resume classes in a new artistically beautiful two-room school. After months of attending classes in the principal’s front room of his house, these kids now have a wonderful, new educational environment.

This extensive project is a perfect example of the outcome of strong volunteer dedication, fundraising, and collaborations among several organizations. In the first few months following the earthquake, volunteers felt a strong connection to this school, this community and the director, Alberto Garcia Soto. Fundraising efforts began and initial plans were developed. Those plans were initially put into action and managed by Hands on Disaster Response (HODR). As BWB volunteers began arriving in Pisco, HODR volunteers were well on their way in initial construction. The similar volunteer driven structure of BWB and HODR quickly yielded the formation of a partnership. HODR a response organization dedicated to short term relief, realized due to scheduled departure and other international projects, that managing full school completion was not possible, thus the program was passed to BWB.

The school was the first big project for BWB in Pisco and everyone involved wanted a spectacular finished product. To accomplish the desired outcome, additional fund raising and design alteration were needed. BWB’s fund raising efforts added over $6500 for the school, more than doubling the remaining budget. The increased budget allowed BWB to reevaluate the completion of the school, provide school supplies to all students, and give it a creative “Burner” feel. Utilizing the initial proposed plans, volunteer engineers, small business entrepreneurs, and other creative minds designed alterations that were perfected and a new budget was developed.

With the future in mind and the combined fundraising, a concrete roof was poured. This roof not only strengthened the structure, but also provided ample stability for future upward expansion. School director, Alberto Garcia Soto has high hopes to expand the school by including a second floor, thus doubling student capacity. To facilitate that expansion BWB worked closely with school officials to develop a revenue yielding small business component. The developed business plan consists of the installation of a water purification system. The potable water produced will be sold at a lower than market price to the community, thus assisting both community members and the school. BWB recognizes the importance in not solely providing direct assistance, but leaving behind the potential for future, permanent assistance.

The completion of the roof marked the beginning of interior construction. All plumbing, electric, plastering, door and window installation was finalized thus fulfilling the specifications of the blueprint design. To leave the Burner touch, more was needed then walls, doors, and windows. A creative collaboration of volunteers knew that the production and inclusion of art was needed. In an area demised to rubble and horrid memories of the past, including art, lifts the spirits and sparks hope for the future. Interior and exterior murals were designed by the volunteers utilizing local themes, culture, and student input.

We have just poured the roof for a 6-room school in Chincha and continue to work with local municipalities to bring more resources to the community.

-Jimmy Levi


3 Responses to “BWB completes first school!”

  1. Tim Fudge says:

    Good work! I’m stoked to see it finished and lookin sooooo good.

  2. CoCo says:

    BWB Rocks! You all are awesome.

  3. so so nice to see these photos and read about it being opened.
    is soo different to the construction site we were working on when i left in Dec.
    congrats all and especially to tim.