September 2018 Newsletter

posted Sep 30, 2018, 8:03 AM by Andrew Mueller
Development with Dignity 
September 2018

Barrio Nuestro: Participatory Census 

We have moved on to a new phase of our community-based development initiative, Barrio Nuestro ("Our Neighborhood"). Since July 15th, Building Dignity and community leaders of La Encantada have been knocking on the doors of each home in the La Encantada Grupo 2 for a participatory census. The census consists of a series of demographic questions, as well as questions about community members' perspectives of La Encantada and their vision for the park. Through the census, we have been informing neighbors of the park improvement project, listening to their suggestions and opinions, and engaging community leaders to work with us to mobilize the community of La Encantada around this project. 

Community parents chat with psychologist Ernesto Reaño

On July 20th Building Dignity hosted psychologist Ernesto Reaño, director of EITA (Team for Asperger and Autism Intervention and Treatment), with whom we have signed an Agreement of Cooperation. This meeting had a record attendance due to great interest in topics such as how we understand and apply discipline, forms of punishment that do and do not work, video games, and the “thermometer of emotions,” among other related themes. Parents engaged in a dynamic conversation with Ernesto, and they have asked that we hold this talk again.


Every week children have gotten to enjoy various workshops at Building Dignity. On Monday, the more advanced musicians get to practice guitar with our music professor, Quique Valdez. Students in our Thursday introductory class are enjoying learning how to play the zampoña (an Andean wind instrument) and the cajón (an Afro-Peruvian percussive box). 

Plastic Arts

On Wednesdays, students work with Hugo Espinoza, our plastic arts professor, on a range of projects. Recently, students made marionettes with moving parts, and now they are working with ceramics. 

Introducing Jonah!

Jonah Watt joined Building Dignity at the beginning of July and will be working with us for a year as our Princeton in Latin America Fellow. Jonah graduated from Bowdoin College this past May with a degree in Latin American studies and a minor in earth and oceanographic science. At Bowdoin, Jonah conducted an honors thesis on the history of the Chilean student movement with a focus on the past decades of mobilization following a semester abroad in Valparaíso, Chile. While in Chile, he studied at the Universidad de Playa Ancha and conducted an internship with an organization dedicated to science and technology education and outreach. At Bowdoin, Jonah interned with the Maine Mobile Health Program, which provides mobile medical care to Maine's migrant and seasonal farmworkers, many of whom are from Latin America and the Caribbean. Jonah also led his campus’s climate action group for four years, where he combined his passion for community organizing with his commitment to climate justice. He is thrilled to spend the next year in La Encantada working with Building Dignity, and he looks forward to learning about social justice and community organizing in Peru!

NEW: Donate to us now via Venmo! Find the app on your smartphone and search for @building-dignity to send a donation.

Donations made in September go towards a $10,000 matching challenge grant in support of the 8th annual Craig house party on September 29th!

Donations can also still be made by visiting