Super Fun Town- Multifunctional Sports Pitch: Completed September 2010
This March, an idea was born over a late night conversation among friends, and now eight months later these dreams have become a reality.
After our arrival in Pisco, we (Christina, Ines and myself) spent only a few weeks working with Pisco Sin Fronteras before we were inspired to create our own project in the Tupac Amaru district to which we had grown very close. Our original idea was to construct a playground in an empty lot in the back of one of the communities there. In the initial planning stages of the project we were able to raise a whopping S/. 12,000 (US$ 4,200) through donations from friends and family as well as from fellow volunteers. In those first few weeks we spent our time being bumped around from meeting to meeting with the mayor in which time we realized the level of corruption Pisqueñans are up against. Just when we thought we had cut through all the red tape, we were thrown a massive curveball. To make a long story short, we were informed shortly after we were given permission to build that the local government did not have rights to the land. With all of our planning to this point now being useless, we were lost. We didn’t know what we would do next, or how we would find a way to achieve what we wanted to originally.
Our lucky break came days later when we were informed of a different community, Las Dunas, that we might have interest in working with. We decided to set up a meeting with members of the community to discuss how we could help. The only thing we told them was that we would not assist in projects involving individuals or families; we wanted to service the entire community. We then opened the table for discussion, and they talked amongst themselves about what they would like to see happen. They immediately asked us to put up streetlights, followed by a request for paved roads. We explained to the people that this was out of our league, and, on top of that, it was the responsibility of the local Government.
Community members than began discussing the possibility of constructing a soccer field/basketball court. In the back corner of their neighborhood was a large sandlot that was partially leveled. The women of the community explained to us that the local government had promised a concrete soccer field (grass is impossible to maintain here) if the local people could come up with the materials. This was far too much to ask of people who sometimes make less than five dollars a day. On this night, SUPER FUN TOWN was born.
Less than a week later, the crew was out in Vista al Valle breaking ground on the new field. The first step in the construction process was finishing the levelling of the land. Now let me tell you that levelling a 500 square meter area is no small task. If you find joy in shovelling sand from one place to another while tripping over the 30 odd strings criss-crossed all over the place, then building a soccer field is for you! Needless to say this was a long and meticulous process, but once it was completed we got to haul in a massive water tank to wet the entire field then compact it with a vibrating metal plate! The levelling and compacting process was then repeated after we layed affirmato over the entire field as a cushion for the concrete. Which brings me to the best part: concrete! We gathered a team of 20 volunteers, two cement mixers, 600 bags of cement, and a mountain of aggregate and poured 50 slabs of concrete 3×3 meters and 10 cm deep. After the pouring stage was completed, the three of us who started the project could not stay for longer. It had been a long 3 months, and it was harder for us to leave than one could explain here. We left the project in the hands of our good friend and dedicated Super Fun Town volunteer, now Tools Manager, Alex.
In our absence Alex was able to get metal goals with an arm for basketball on the top beam welded into the pitch, and also acquired backboards and hoops for the kids to play basketball. All the while we were working at home and missing Pisco to death. One month and two paychecks later Christina and I had our flights back to Lima booked. When we returned in early September, we immediately wrapped up all the loose ends