'Tis the season for visitors! This winter, we received three teams from the US, all members of churches who are a part of our extended NCV family. Coming all the way to Cochabamba from Idaho, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and DC, a total of 31 people joined us to get to know our staff and children, and find creative ways to bless them and the projects they are a part of. This is no small act of commitment—we as so appreciative of their help and dedication! Like our volunteers, members of teams come from a variety of backgrounds, and it is inspiring to see people come together in their shared desire to touch the lives of children in need.
First Presbyterian Church of Coeur D'Alene
In April, Emily and Tim visited us as a vision team from the First Presbyterian Church of Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. Vision trips are different from mission and service trips, in that vision teams come specifically to learn about the inner workings of our organization. They met with the leadership of the children's ministry of La Trinidad (the church our children attend), had a wonderful evening with the Bolivian board of directors, and, of course, spent plenty of time with the kids and tías in the homes.
It was a busy week. We visited the circus, summited El Cristo, did arts and crafts in the homes, painted the CDP playroom, and made progress on the aquaponics project. We also took a reality tour of other orphanages in Cochabamba. This reality tour invokes different reactions for everybody and can be a very eye-opening experience. It can be a good reminder of what we are able to provide our kids that larger homes cannot. Rather than material items, what makes NCV unique is the loving family environment and individual support and encouragement that our tías pour into the kids.
Above Left: Leveling the aquaponics bed.
Above Right: Tim and Diego playing blocks.
Above Left: "Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!"
Above Right: Emily and Kattia painting the playroom.
Above Left: Emily helping the boys with a craft project.
Above Right: Tim and Emily with the La Trinidad children and youth ministry leadership.
Above Left: Overlooking Cochabamba.
Above Right: Working on a structure to support aquaponics plants.
Christ the Redeemer and Restoration Churches
This July, the Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church from Massachusetts and the Restoration Anglican Church from Virginia united as a mission team. By the end of their week in Cochabamba, you would never guess that several team members had just met for the first time in the airport!
It was particularly heart-warming to see kids connect with their sponsors, and amazing to watch how these relationships transcend language barriers. A highlight of the trip was playing in one of the big local parks, Parque Bicentenario. The mission team members jumped right in with the kiddos—tobogganing down the slides, swinging on the monkey bars, and riding the train around the park.
On the team's final day in Bolivia, we celebrated our annual "Niños con Valor Family Day" at Pairumani Park, a popular weekend getaway for Cochabamba residents. NCV board members, volunteers, and our caregivers, along with many of their families, joined in the festivities. The morning activities consisted of three-legged relays, egg-on-a-spoon races, and a newspaper fashion contest. Meanwhile, the older girls took charge of cleaning the griddles with lemon and chicken skin, and later roasting massive quantities of beef, chicken, sausage, and pork. What a memorable day, celebrating our giant family!
Above Left: Lynn, with her sponsor child Manolo.
Above Right: Linda helping Bicelia out in the kitchen.
Above Left: Karen showing the card her sponsor child, Evelyn, made for her.
Above Right: Evan helping Zaquiel out with a weaving craft.
Above Left: Homemade kites on top of the Cristo.
Above Right: Hard at work making beanbag chairs!
Above Left: Keep going team - we've got 6 chairs to go!
Above Right: The boys racing their new cars.
Above Left: Who knew sewing could be such fun?
Above Right: Alandra and Kattia painting wooden crosses.
Above Left: Adriana creating a German-themed cross in honor of the World Cup.
Above Right: Greg helping prepare the aquaponics plant bed.
Above Left: Transporting stones for the aquaponics plant bed.
Above Right: Marcos masterfully executing the monkey-bars.
Above: Fun on the slide!
Above Left: Everyone boarding the train…Let’s go for a ride!
Above Right: Sofia placing the beef on grill.
Above Left: Sisters tending to the meat.
Above Right: Vanesa parading her newspaper gown.
The Church of the Good Samaritan
This August, we were joined by a mission team from the Good Samaritan Church from Paoli, Pennsylvania. It was an entertaining week, beginning with a cultural fair to celebrate Cochabamba's birthday on August 6th. Later, the team put together a magic show and science exposition for the kids. They did card tricks, made potato clocks, and planted the idea that being a scientist is pretty cool in our kids' heads.
The team shared their kind hearts and warm smiles with rural communities outside of Cochabamba as well. They traveled with the older girls of Corazón del Pastor to the provice of Mizque. There, we installed chicken coops and provided laying hens to four community schools. Many of the schoolchildren are undernourished and must walk long distances in order to attend school. Daily eggs will provide them with nourishment as well as incentive to attend school.
After a week of bonding, sharing, and giving, the Good Sam church said their goodbyes. We are thankful for all of their help, and hope they return soon!
Above Left: Chuck and Mary teaching the kids the "Cha-Cha".
Above Right: Mariela performing her comedy routine.
Above Left: Karina, checking out the food options at our cultural fair.
Above Right: Teresa, our stylish miss Bolivia.
Above Left: Some of the girls posing in their traditional dance costumes.
Above Right: Christie painting nails during the spa day she organized.
Above Left: Kevin teaching the boys how to power a clock using potatoes.
Above Right: Kevin, Deryck and Chuck digging holes for a clothesline.
Above Left: Cara and Deryck painting in PDC.
Above Right: Cara reading Diego a book.
Above Left: The girls climbing in the back of the truck to head up to work in a couple communities.
Above Right: Building one of the chicken coops in the village of Uchama Baja.
Above Left: Community members help install the chicken coops.
Above Right: Paty giving the chickens some water.
Above Left: Geoff goaltending in a soccer game in Mizque.
Above Right: Some of the team enjoying some local cuisine.
Above Left: Nohemi gives Chuck a hug during our final goodbyes.
Above Right: In such a short time, we made some great friends.
Above Left: Meeting up with members of the Bolivian board of directors.
Above Right: The group on their final day at La Trinidad, where they ran workshops with the congregation.