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Celeste and Mercedes’ first day of school was March 3, 2009. 25 students ran through the doors of a small quiet neighborhood house where six bedrooms had been converted into classrooms.

The rooms had the bare minimum: six desks or one small table with chairs and shelf with a few toys. The six new teachers anxiously awaited the students arrival and all burst into tears the moment they left! There was so much work to be done.

On September 30, Manos Unidas celebrated it’s 10th school year. The last 10 years have been dedicated to training teachers to deliver quality education and convincing parents to invest in their children.

Each year Camino Nuevo, Manos Unidas school, celebrates in style with traditional cultural dances presented to a great audience. Each classroom has the opportunity to demonstrate their talents.

This year Mercedes and Celeste celebrated (far away from each other, Mercedes in Peru and Celeste in Seattle) the success and challenges of 10 years of collaboration.

Now Manos Unidas is not just Celeste and Mercedes’ project but that of hundreds of parents who have invested in their children, the dozens of teachers who have given hours of their lives to educate the children, and the hundreds of community members who have been impacted by those children.

Now, bring on the next 10 years!

See full 10th Anniversary album on Manos Unidas Peru Facebook Page 

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