The extensive Sorata Valley, in the Bolivian Andes, has nearly 100 small communities dependent on subsistence farming. Bolivia has consistently been the poorest country in South America, with severe rural poverty. Most people in the Valley live several hours walk from Sorata which has the nearest high schools.
More than three-quarters of our graduates have gone on to higher education--several to universities, others to a variety of technical courses. This young woman has just completed veterinary school and plans to open Sorata's first veterinary practice. Currently, our graduates are studying for careers that include metallurgy, civil engineering and music education.
On the day we were to post the list of accepted students, Juana Ruperta's father (left) and a neighbor walked mountain trails in the rain for 6 pre-dawn hours to ensure that their daughters were accepted for 7th grade. Fortunately they were!