This is what your Peru calendar purchases helped to do

I want to say thank you to all of you that purchased one of my 2008 Peru calendars this year. My intention was to send part of the proceeds back to Peru to help the very people in the photographs. I did just that with all of your help. I didn’t send much, and wiring money turned out to be an expensive undertaking – but even a few hundred dollars goes a long way down there.

Washington is the young Peruvian man you see in the photos with the kids below. He was my guide when I was in Peru. He lives in the Sacred Valley in a lovely and quaint town called Ollantaytambo (say: Oy an tay tam bo) He grew up as a child there not speaking English and singing to the tourists to make a little money. A wonderful lady from the US took him under her wing and helped him get an education. Today he is pretty fluent in English, Spanish and Quechua (native tongue of the ancient people).

Washi and the kids

Because he received such a hand up, he now wants to do the same for all the people in his area. Many children there have almost nothing. No clothes other than what is on their backs. No money for school supplies or lunch. Some have parents that cannot care for them, alcoholics, very poor, etc. Many women are abandoned by their husbands and left with 5 or 6 young children to feed and care for so they’re forced to beg on the street or pose in tradition clothes and hope the tourists will give them a little money to take their photo (I always did!). It is a very hard life – and yet somehow, they always have smiles on their faces and a warmth in their hearts.

The people of Peru have a gentleness about them. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul – well their eyes speak volumes. They speak of the pain and hardship, but also of love, pride, and even happiness. Especially the children. They have a playfulness that most kids have, but they also have a sense of responsibility and respect. The kids we cooked and served lunch to – and the ones we took shoes to – again and again, I watched older kids make sure their younger siblings were fed and shoed before they asked for theirs. Even other younger kids not related to them were taken care of too. There is a genuine caring and huge sense of community among these people that we in our society seemed to have lost, or at least it seems that way sometimes.

Kids in Peruvian village school

happy child with new school supplies

So I did not hesitate for a minute to send funds directly to Washington because I knew all of it would be spent on helping the people, mostly the kids. He has a beautiful daughter too and his heart is always in the right place. This is the letter he sent to thank me, and these are his photos. So you can see where you money has gone to work first hand. Thanks to all of you.

Here are some photos and let me tell you the money that you send me we gave 200 school suplies for the children in the communities, we had to walk for hours in order to get there, i went with my brother carlos.
A lot of love and Happpiness my dear Darlene.
Love and light.


Washi and the kids in school in Peruvian village

Thanks to Red Lotus Tours for taking me on that journey, which was only the beginning. Didi and Jenni – you inspire me!

8 Responses to “This is what your Peru calendar purchases helped to do”
  1. Melanie says:


    You seriously rock my world. I am so proud of you!

    Well done.


  2. Michele says:

    Very awesome thing you did, Dar – thank you!

    m xo

  3. Marlene says:

    Oh Darlene ! I didn’t know that you were going to do that, but after reading this I realise that you had to and that your heart is also in the right place. These images brought tears to my eyes and I just wanted to reach in and hug and kiss each one of them- hard.
    Cash is one thing I dont have a lot of but I would be happy to help in any way.
    YOU ROCK !! Darlene !! and thank you .

  4. Darlene says:

    Thanks girls – makes it all worth while doesn’t it?

  5. formerfatguy says:

    It’s really nice to see the money put to use for the children. I look forward to our ongoing fund raising for this worthy cause.

    Did I mention that I love you?

  6. Derek Wiltshire says:

    Hi, Darlene
    I really liked this peice about your Peruvian calendar. I didn’t realise the people there were so poverty striken.
    Here in the UK we hear very little about South America, outside of Brazil & Argentina and still little enough about them.
    I found what you had to say about their humanity profoundly moving and makes me want to save-up to visit for myself and try to take some aid as well.


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About Your Tutor

photography tutor in Edmonton

Born and raised in Edmonton, Darlene has had formal training in photography at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She enjoys portraits, fine art, and travel photography. She is a seasoned traveler having spent time in Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, Peru, Thailand, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Cuba and Australia. Darlene loves exotic locales, exotic food and experiencing different countries directly through the local people and the cultural arts. Her vision is to share her artistic talents through teaching “the art of seeing”, and to spread love and tolerance through the experience of truly connecting with and understanding people of different cultures.