Juan AYP: Home Sweet Home – Welcome to the New Casa Mosqoy
Home Sweet Home – Welcome to the New Casa Mosqoy
Exactly one month ago, Mosqoy hosted a group of visiting high school students from Brentwood College School in Canada. The Brentwood group spent close to two weeks in a cultural exchange program that included visits to Mosqoy families, tours, hikes, and memorable exchanges and friendships with Mosqoy students. However, the most notable experience was a volunteer service project to help Mosqoy students and volunteers move into their new home. The move was a difficult and emotional one for many Mosqoy students who had lived at the Old Casa Mosqoy for two or three years, making it their only home away from home in their entire lives. However, what they found at the New Casa Mosqoy was an unexpected and very pleasant surprise; the Brentwood students helped the Mosqoy managers achieve the long awaited objective of drastically improving Casa Mosqoy in order to better serve our students. Through this process, we were able to create a new living space that has almost magically transformed and inspired Mosqoy students to work not only to fulfill, but to surpass their wildest dreams. Join me in a virtual tour of our new home and the exciting changes that have come since the move! (Learn more about the Brentwood Academy’s service trip with Mosqoy here!)
Welcome to New Casa Mosqoy
Casa Mosqoy is now located in a quiet and safe neighborhood twenty minutes outside of downtown Cusco. This neighborhood provides a calm environment for Mosqoy students to enjoy and in which to reconnect with the surrounding natural beauty in the notable absence of city noise, pollution, and traffic. As we enter Casa Mosqoy every day, we are increasingly delighted by a mural that talented Brentwood and Mosqoy students designed and painted, depicting how collaboration between the two countries (Canada and Peru) and the pursuit of education have inspired Mosqoy’s mission. In addition, the mural conveys several important aspects of Quechua culture, which continuously remind Mosqoy students about their responsibility to use their knowledge and skills to protect and revitalize their threatened indigenous culture.
Continuing into the house, we find a beautiful garden with apple, fig, and papaya trees, and enough green space for a home garden where Mosqoy students have planted various herbs and vegetables, and a relaxing reading bench sun-kissed throughout the day. On the first floor we find the Mosqoy office (now with natural light!), a short term volunteer room, a well-equipped laundry room, a computer room, the boys’ room and bathroom, and a fully equipped artisanal oven. On the second floor we find the kitchen, which we all see as an unbelievable improvement over our last kitchen that genuinely invites the house cooks to create new and delicious recipes. Down the hallway are the two long-term volunteer rooms, one of the girl bedrooms and bathroom, and a spiral staircase leading to the large one-bedroom third floor, which serves as the other girl bedroom. The rooms are painted in beautiful colors that keep our students upbeat and energetic. However, the unanimously favorite place in the house is our dining room. As a stand-alone room in the second floor, it provides an incomparable view of Cusco city through its three window-only walls. The dining room always receives sunlight and has become a gathering place for socializing, homework, meals, workshops, and any communal activities! We invite you to come visit our new home and experience the magic for yourself!
Management and Attitude Changes
Feeling inspired the Brentwood Students’ selfless willingness to help others, Irene – one of the older Mosqoy students – motivated the other students during a thank you speech to Brentwood to make increasing efforts to help others, including their housemates, without expecting retribution or recognition. Since that inspiring moment, Mosqoy students have been willing and excited to work to improve Casa Mosqoy, and have demonstrated a new spirit full of generosity and initiative to be agents of positive change in Mosqoy and in their communities. In order to reinforce these positive attitudes and to provide our students with the opportunity to lead and take greater responsibility over their lifestyles, Mosqoy management has decided to redesign the house management system. Under the new system, Mosqoy students are directly responsible for Casa Mosqoy and for making it the living space and the support system that they envision in their lives. Mosqoy staff will, in turn, provide continuous support and resources to help Mosqoy students succeed in creating a supporting, student-led environment.
In order to achieve these goals and to improve house functionality, Mosqoy students democratically elected the first ever student President, Vice-president, and Treasurer. These positions within the “Student Cabinet” last six months, and will give every student the chance – and the responsibility – of holding a democratically elected, and thus democratically accountable, leadership position. As Resident Adviser, I am certain that Mosqoy students are fully prepared to take responsibility of Casa Mosqoy, and I am incredibly proud to present Mosqoy’s first ever (all female) Student Cabinet:
“Those who have the privilege of Knowing, have the responsibility to Act”