A Preschool in San Antonio de Sonomoro, Peru

2023 – Ongoing

San Antonio de Sonomoro, Pangoa, Junín, Perú.


3 classrooms, a staff room, a multipurpose room, a school kitchen, 5 toilets, a sustainable water and sewage system

Financial support

Asociación Semillas para el Desarrollo Sostenible, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – Germany

Local employees, participatory processes, natural ventilation, groundwater protection

A Preschool in San Antonio de Sonomoro

This project consists of the construction of a new preschool in the indigenous community of San Antonio de Sonomoro to replace the dilapidated preschool. It was designed and is being built with the extensive participation of the community. The new building will serve the sixty eight children plus the staff currently using the old facilities.



The elementary school of the municipality of San Antonio de Sonomoro is located in Pangoa, on the south-eastern edge of Junín. San Antonio de Sonomoro is a rural community of the indigenous Nomatsiguenga group, which has its traditional settlement area in the rainforests of the Amazon.


The region is part of the geopolitical zone known as VRAEM (Valle de los Ríos Apurimac, Ene y Mantaro, translated: Valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers). Between 1980 and 2000, the region was the scene of various armed conflicts with numerous victims of police violence on the part of the indigenous people and the settlers, which forced many inhabitants to relocate. The remaining parts of the indigenous community are now struggling with extreme poverty and poor infrastructure. Rural areas are underserved in terms of access to health services and education due to the poor road conditions.


By law, children in Peru go to preschool from the age of 3. One such state school was built in the traditional manner in 2012 by the community itself as a temporary structure using scrap wood. However, the school does not meet Peruvian building safety standards and is dilapidated. The children and teachers are not protected in the case of earthquakes and flooding.

There are currently 68 children aged three to six attending the preschool.


The school has a roof made partly of sheet metal and partly of palm leaves. The construction of the building cannot withstand the weather conditions, especially in the rainy season. The rain penetrates the school, causing mold growth and health problems for the children and teachers. The furniture is inadequate and run-down for a learning environment. There is a lack of adequate sanitary facilities and a safe cooking area. The parents, who are responsible for cooking the school meals, are exposed to an enormous amount of smoke in the closed room and germs. There is also no space for eating together and other activities.

Knowledge transfer suffers enormously under the conditions. Due to the poor conditions, students often stay away from class.Teachers also suffer from demotivation. There is no staff room in the building. This means that it is difficult for teachers to discuss, prepare lessons and complete administrative tasks. There is also no storage space for school materials.




The organization Semillas and the local community is building a new preschool in San Antonio de Sonomoro is being built. The concept for the new building is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals of education, food security and rural development, clean water and sanitation, poverty reduction, peace, justice and strong institutions. 


The school is to become a sustainable place of learning that reflects the needs of the children and the community. To this end, three classrooms, a school kitchen, a multi-purpose room, a staff room and five toilets including washbasins and a water and sewage system tested for rural areas will be built. The furniture is to be restored and rebuilt. 


To ensure adequate school infrastructure, the school is to meet Peruvian building safety standards and withstand possible earthquakes and flooding. The community has knowledge and skills in the field of agriculture and medicinal plants. These resources are to be used to enable the school to operate independently and sustainably. These measures are intended to increase the motivation of both teachers and pupils. In addition, the resilience of the community and the motivation to stand up for one’s own interests and implement them independently should grow.