The Skate Ramp Project (HELP Community) has been up and running for two years. Our beloved Skate Ramp, the product of a donation by one of our former volunteers and is at the centre of the work we do with a group of children in the Cerrito de la Virgen community.
The children of Cerrito de la Virgen live in poverty and don’t have much to do in their free time away from school. The Skate Ramp project provides a safe place with fun activities where children can go in the afternoons. Many of the children have to watch their siblings while their parents are at work, so we try to make activities for children of all ages – currently ranging from 2-17.
Many volunteers who work with us on this project have skateboarding skills and teaching experience. This has produced awesome new skateboarders even amongst the smallest children! Most of them can now stand up and ride the ramp back and forth endlessly! Some have even learned how to drop in, turn and do some tricks.
Since the majority of the children that use the Skate Ramp do not have proper shoes for skateboarding, doing it with flip-flops or even barefoot, we have acquired several pairs of shoes of different sizes so that when the children use the ramp they are more protected and can execute the tricks better. Our volunteers also contacted some of the local skate shops in
skaters who go there to buy new skateboarding gear they can donate their old material to OCN. Trujillo to encourage
The project has also successfully organized field trips with the group of
children we work with at Cerrito to the zoo, the pool and the local cinema. The mothers who joined us also loved watching the animals at the zoo and some of the children experienced their first time in a pool.
The Skate Ramp Project in Cerrito de la Virgen now has a new project coordinator, Alex, who is working with OCN for an internship as part of his civil engineering degree in working with project management. Since arriving in Huanchaco, Alex has been working hard to improve and develop the skate ramp project. This is what he has achieved so far:
'When I arrived the site was very basic with only a skate ramp and an area with benches and a table for drawing. During the first month at the ramp we finished constructing a ping pong table and have three more projects in the pipeline; getting running water to the ramp, building a playhouse for the smallest kids and building an eco-toilet.
On Mondays and Tuesdays we take the kids surfing/body boarding – an activity made possible in collaboration with Un Lugar Surf School in Huanchaco which provides wet suits and equipment for the kids free of charge.
In addition to the physical activities at the ramp, we also have access to the library in Cerrito de la Virgen – here we have days where the children are taught English and basic math and we try to help them with homework. We want to make the Skate Ramp a place where they can forget about everything around them and just focus on being kids. However, at the same time we aim to prepare them for their future – not only by teaching them English, math and reading, but also by teaching them moral values and respecting each other.
During my time at the ramp, I hope to complete the three planned projects, even with the limited funds we have. Previous volunteers started hosting local fundraising events that have been very successful and we have continued with this by hosting a quiz night every 2 weeks. Hopefully we will be able to turn the projects into reality!'