Pictures by Jesus Rengifo Saldaña
On Friday, March 13th, six and a half months ago, we did our usual closing circle at “La Rampa,” our skate ramp in Cerrito de La Virgen, Huanchaco. This circle is one of our favorite times during an Edu-Skate lesson because both kids and volunteers have the opportunity to share what they learned and how they felt that day. After our circle, we closed the doors and said goodbye to the kids, thinking to ourselves that we will see them on Monday… just like every week. However, that Sunday, Peru entered into a countrywide lockdown due to COVID-19: all schools were closed, people could only leave their houses looking for food or other basic needs, all national and international borders were closed and most businesses shut down.
Since COVID-19 put our country into a quarantine that lasted for several months, the CJF Peru team has not stopped working. We have been thinking about the challenges of staying connected to the communities and children that we work with when it is impossible to share the love and power of skateboarding while being in the same place. We realized that we needed to adapt and find creative ways to keep sharing the passion for skateboarding. Therefore, we made an educational booklet with diverse activities such as how to make your own balance board at home, crossword puzzles, decorating your own skateboard, readings about recognized Peruvian skateboarders, and many other activities. We distributed this booklet in collaboration with schools and other NGOs around Trujillo. To compliment the booklet, we made tutorial videos on how to make and use your balance at home safely. The booklets and videos have been a great opportunity to have fun together, continue to train the skateboarding skills at home and promote the sport in these times of isolation and social distancing.Download the booklet
In the coming months before 2020 says goodbye to us, we have some exciting plans to share with you. We will be opening soon our online clothing store with CJF Peru swag to fundraise money for our programs in Peru and our local team. Since the Peruvian government allowed people to practice outdoor sports, we are staying active as a team by organizing online skate competitions and producing skate-related content to show the situation of skateboarding in our city during COVID-19 times - keeping in mind social distancing and hygiene!
We plan to reopen our skateboarding projects next year as COVID-19 restrictions seem to be lifted little by little here in Peru, so we need to focus on ideas for reducing the risks related to this pandemic and keeping our beneficiaries and volunteers safe and comfortable. Until the moment we are able to give skate lessons and workshops again, we will continue to find new ways to be together while being apart! Follow our Mission in Peru and be up to date as we will be opening up applications for international volunteers for 2021 soon!Instagram: @CJF-Peru
Arissa Moreno, Public Relations Manager @ CJF Perú