Tag Archives: Krochet Kids International

Peru in Photos

I spent 6 months volunteering with Krochet Kids International and traveling in Peru.

Here are some of my favorite shots and memories…

IMG_1958Lake Titicaca || Puno, Peru

IMG_1900My sister Emily came to visit. IMG_2841Pacifico, Lima, Peru || Home to many KKp beneficiaries.

IMG_9917My new friend and self-acclaimed tour guide, George || Belen, Peru

IMG_1813 Krochet Kids atop Machu Picchu Mountain. #hatsonthings

969691_10200895105913532_692983969_n The #sewperu crew.

IMG_1338 KKp 1st annual volleyball tournament.

IMG_9931 Iquitos, Peru

IMG_2253 So grateful for this little street. || Nicolaza, Lima, Peru

IMG_3646 Dunebuggying and sandboarding || Huacachina, Peru

IMG_1826 Our typical Machu Picchu jumping tourist picture.

IMG_6822 Celebrating with my great friends Lucy and Jacque.

IMG_0141 Dancing with the Bora Indians in the Amazon. || Iquitos, Peru

IMG_7004 Bus riding with Angalo, Emmerson, Estrella and Marisol.

IMG_1047 Arequipa, Peru

IMG_7110 Nike We Run Lima 10K with my dad.

IMG_1371 Champions of 1st annual KKp Volleyball Tournament.

IMG_0688 Colca Canyon, Peru

IMG_9905 Belen, Peru

IMG_6309 Dana and Annie enjoying the ride home in Hank, the VW Van.

IMG_3798 Sunrise || Huaraz, Peru

IMG_0921 Sunrise || Chivay, Peru

IMG_0403 Sunrise || Amazon River

IMG_4137 Last day with my buddies.

IMG_2968 Carmen’s son, Marco, performing folkloric dancing at school.

IMG_4743 Celebrating my 23rd birthday.

IMG_1378 Tyler being Tyler.

IMG_3963 Made it to the top of Huayna Picchu.

IMG_9578 Leonor and Ericka were two of my best friends at KKp.

IMG_2846 A typical housing situation.

IMG_3637 Letting go || Huacachina, Peru

IMG_2485 This little nugget, Estrella, brought me so much joy.

IMG_1571 Emily is the best travel companion.

IMG_2508 Pauly Paul

IMG_3302 One of the main modes of transportation, combis. IMG_2464

Carmen is a knitting expert.

IMG_0261 I hate snakes…when in Rome? || Iquitos, Peru

IMG_7324 Dana, the quirkiest of roommates.

IMG_1420 My nightly run view. || Lima, Peru

IMG_4836 My Peruvian mom and best friend, Chabella.

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A day on the Amazon River. 

IMG_2806 I love this community.

IMG_3872 Lake Charup and KKp + Vans || Huaraz, Peru IMG_2321

Buy a hat, change a life.

IMG_6859 Learning how to knit with Chabella.

IMG_2500 Lunch time chats. IMG_4075

A great friend and mentor, Blake Goodfellow.

IMG_9844 View from Iquitos to Belen.

IMG_2772 A sibling bond unlike any I have ever seen.

IMG_9936 Visiting with George’s family.

IMG_0441 Iquitos, Peru

IMG_1118 Some of the best people I know.

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My First Month in Peru

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do”

– Leonardo da Vinci

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Prior to leaving for my six month trip, some of the labels I used explaining my new journey to Peru included… Community service. Post-graduate volunteering. Mission trip. Charity work. Production assistant intern.

As I sit here on day 27 of my 180 day stay in Peru I realize that none of those explanations 100% accurately depict what this experience is and will be. I realize that this is not about labeling, it is about doing. I am doing something out of my comfort zone. I am doing work that will help me develop my passion. I am doing something to make a difference and expand my worldview. I am doing what others say they wish they would have done at my age. Most of all I am doing this adventure to bring action to my constant “talk” about living my life with purpose and fun. So yes, all of those labels fall into the realm of what I am here for, but they do not give justice to what I am doing here and why I am doing it.

¿QUE TAL?

This first month in Peru has definitely challenged and excited me in many ways. My trip to Lima started in the most predictable way, the word CANCELLED flashed next to my 6 am flight to Newark, and a plane change caused a four hour delay on my outgoing flight from Houston to Lima. My flight finally landed on Peruvian soil at 3:08 am, but thankfully my KKp country director and new friend, Blake Goodfellow, started his Father’s Day morning off by greeting me with a big smile right outside of customs. Moving in to my new home at 5 am went swimmingly and so began my life in Peru.

I live within Lima’s District of Barranco in a great apartment on the first floor of a bed and breakfast with four of the other interns. Ryan, Annie, Dana, Jackie. Very quickly we have fallen into different roles: Dana and Ryan are mom and dad, Jackie and I are the children and we have Aunt Annie. Needless to say we are one big happy family and we are becoming great friends. You can read more about us on the Krochet Kids Intern Blog. Our accommodations are a lot nicer than I expected as a volunteer but I am not complaining. Barranco is a very nice district of Lima and it is situated right along the malecón, the cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I have already enjoyed several nice runs along the malecón’s picturesque trail. We are walking distance from the grocery store, restaurants, the bus stop, beautiful churches, the beach and any other entertainment we may think we need. The food is delicious and very cheap; a meal of ceviche, seafood pasta and a coke at a nice restaurant costs 13 Soles or $4.81. I can definitely get used to that! However, I am not used to the gloomy weather yet. Cloudy and chilly. All day, everyday, and it’s not heating up anytime soon. I have pretty much entered into a year of winter because right when I head back to the states it will just be getting hot here. Who needs sun anyways? All in all, I would say I am adjusting well to Lima and can navigate through my neighborhood for the most part.

Krochet Kids Peru

Two and a half years ago Krochet Kids Peru was born. Krochet Kids has been operating in Gulu, Uganda for just over six years and has empowered over 150 women by giving them hope and and a purpose through crocheting and education. When the KKi team was looking to expand beyond Uganda, Lima seemed like a very practical location. They wanted to locate in a place that had great textile and shipping options, and they wanted to empower a diverse group of poverty stricken people. Uganda has been recovering from a span of wars resulting in many impoverished citizens, however Lima’s poverty is more generational. Lima is a city with a large income gap. The middle class barely exists resulting in a huge inequality in wealth. So, to address this issue, Krochet Kids hired my boss Blake Goodfellow and he moved, along with his wife and four awesome kids, to Lima to bring action to a dream and vision. The Goodfellow’s drive and faith has been beyond refreshing to be around. Check out the Goodfellow’s story on their blog. They truly are a prime example of a family doing life for and with others.

KKp has come a long way since its beginnings in one lady’s tiny one bedroom house. KKp operates as an official NGO in Peru and has three different buildings; a two story office and mentoring space, a three story production facility and a childcare center. KKp is located in the Chorillos district of Lima in a town called Nicolasa, which is about a thirty minute bus ride from Barranco. Right now there are twenty ladies, called beneficiaries, in the program and starting next week there will be ten more! The ladies come from different backgrounds and rough pasts but they are all proactively wanting to make their lives better by being a part of Krochet Kids. I am overfilled with joy being around the ladies and seeing the positive gains they are making towards their goals. In addition to the ladies there are full time Peruvian social workers, seamstresses and management all on staff. With the force of about forty-five people, KKp is a busy place. From financial and health classes for the ladies, to making our latest shipment, to cutting fabric for our new “cut and sew” program, to remodeling the mentoring center, there is never a dull moment. Unlike Uganda where all products are made by hand, our ladies have all been trained to use knitting machines which allows for more variety in product and design. My mind was blown when I realized how much work and how many steps each product requires. Also, if you purchase a KKp shirt or sweater rest assured knowing that it was completely made at KKp. The new “cut and sew” program has given more jobs and more opportunity for growth. From cutting the fabric from large rolls, to sewing the shirts together, to adding pockets, to adding labels, to tagging and bagging and finally shipping, it is all done by our team. I could go on for days about the new and exciting things happening at Krochet Kids. Most importantly, the energy is contagious and even though we are all either learning Spanish or English, the spirit and unity is phenomenal.

The Gringo’s #sewperu Top Ten

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1. Waking up to sunshine finally!

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2. Steaming shirts to dewrinkle.

Photo Credit: Ryan Merkwan Dwyer

3. Cuatro de Julio celebrations at KKp.

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4. Buy a Hat. Change a Life.

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5. Checking surfing off the bucket list!

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6. Cooking fresh food in our kitchen.

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7. Hanging out with these awesome people 24/7.

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8. Touring Pacifico, home of most of the KKp ladies.

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9. New KKp signage. “We are the future of change.”

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10. Looking out the window of KKp and feeling at home.

This experience thus far has exceeded any expectations I had coming in and continues to challenge me every day. I am more than excited to see what the next five months have to offer! Oh, I almost forgot! My Spanish is coming along “poco a poco”. Each day I have been learning new words and phrases but it is still an uphill battle. Cheers to becoming fluent in six months.

To keep tabs on me you can follow this blog, read the Krochet Kids Intern blog, the photojournalist Ryan’s blog or check out our hashtag #sewperu on Twitter and Instagram!

Credits: Photos from Ryan Merkwan Dwyer and my Instagram

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My New Journey of Adventure and Empowerment

lucas17

As many know, I have danced around with several possibilities as to what I should do after graduation. And, as some of you may or may not know, I am receiving my degree in Social Entrepreneurship in ten days and I am sort of an unconventional business student; I have no desire to wear a tie to work, I do not want to sit in a cubicle and I do not want to work for a giant corporation. So, to make these unconventional desires a reality I spent this past year connecting with as many like-minded people as I could to expand my knowledge of the social enterprise world. From road tripping to California with my best friend visiting socially driven companies in the fall, to becoming involved with Silicon Prairie News and the Big Series in Omaha, to living and working in NYC for a month, I have tried to put myself out in the world to take advantage of the endless opportunities and to initiate as many conversations as possible.

After many months spent procrastinating school work by looking at job opportunities, tweaking my resume over and over, and making tough decisions that could potentially affect my career, I have finally accepted a job offer! I am incredibly humbled, grateful and excited to announce that as of June 15, 2013, I will be embarking on a six-month volunteer journey with…

Krochet Kids International to Lima, Peru! 

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Krochet Kids International is a non-profit organization that I became a huge advocate for after visiting their HQ in the fall. I fully believe that they best fit and align with my life values, goals and desires. Krochet Kids mission is to empower people to rise above poverty. To make this mission a reality, KKi believes that all people can grow holistically and enrich their lives if given an opportunity. They employ women in Northern Uganda and Lima, Peru who have backgrounds filled with poverty, low wages, little hope, but have the potential to do great things in the world. They make handmade crocheted hats, scarves, shirts, headbands and other fashion items that are then sold all over the world. Krochet Kids pays a living wage, provides job training and growth opportunities, facilitates mentoring and education classes, and most of all provides hope within impoverished communities.

Kohl Crecelius, co-founder of Krochet Kids, explains more about KKi and talks about using your passion to make a difference.

Krochet Kids added their Peru location about a year and a half ago so I am very excited to use my entrepreneurial skills in my Production Assistant Intern position. I will have a hand in all things business related in the operation. I will deal with quality control, shipping, inventory, product development and get a little taste of everything Krochet Kids Peru has to offer. Alongside me will be three other Production Assistant Interns and a Photojournalism Assistant intern. We will all live together in an apartment in the Chorrillos District of Lima. I will be entering Peru right as their winter is beginning, so I will experience mild temperatures and a heavy fog called garúa. Aside from working, I am excited to learn Spanish and to learn more about Peruvian culture. Lima is a fairly large city so I will experience new foods, music, styles and people. Also, I may have the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest. Even though Lima is a large metropolitan city, there are a large portion of citizens who live in poverty every day. I am eager to learn and see how the different demographics interact and how Lima is addressing the needs of the impoverished. To say that I am completely stoked to live in Peru is an understatement!

This is Jacque’s story, one of the women working with KKp. This video exemplifies the positive impact Krochet Kids is having in Peru.

As I mentioned above, this is a volunteer position. Am I nervous or concerned about not getting paid? No. I trust that everything will work out the way it is supposed to. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to go to Creighton University for the past four years, where we were encouraged everyday to live out the Jesuit teachings to be men and women for and with others. Service was a large influential portion of my college career, from going on service trips to West Virginia to volunteering as a mentor at a local high school. I feel called to use my skills and attributes in a positive way to make a lasting impact on people. There is no better time to answer this calling than when I am 22 years old without any attachments. I hope to grow more than I ever thought I could and I hope to challenge myself everyday.

This was part of my acceptance letter to Krochet Kids Peru…

Our hope and vision for these coming 6 months is that they will stretch you in a unique way.  From being immersed in a new culture, to learning the behind-the-scenes of what we do, to using- and growing- your skills and gifts for a cause you believe in, we want this experience to shape you for the future.  

You will be challenged.  You will challenge others.  Your worldview will be expanded.  And our goal is that by the end of your time with us, you’ll feel more prepared to take next steps toward your career and life dreams. 

Now that’s what I am talking about! Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way of finding my passion. I am excited to share this adventure with you! Follow this blog for all updates.

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Check out their products at www.krochetkids.org

* If you would like to donate to help me fund this journey, you can directly donate to me, or at www.krochetkids.org/donate. Write For Lucas Turner in the “write a note” section, and email nic@krochetkids.org to notify him of the donation on my behalf. All donations are tax-deductible. Do not feel obligated at all to do this. Thank you very much for your support!

Credits: Photos and Videos from krochetkids.org

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