Tanquin, Peru, 2019

Photo courtesy of Semillas

This nursery and primary school are located in Union Altosanibeni, an isolated indigenous community in Peru. The school serves the children of the community and also benefits the inhabitants of the region.

The school was built using a participatory approach. During a series of participatory workshops, community members provided insights into locally available materials that could be used to build the main components of the school, where to find them, and how to transport them to the site. Participants brought to attention some site-specific challenges, such as drought periods during August, and thus the need to adequately manage the water supply for construction. They also informed the designers that it would not be possible to use local wood for the construction because the trees in the area were protected.

Children were involved during this phase. Through playful activities, facilitators asked them about their daily routine, with a focus on activities conducted during school hours. Children also helped to envision the school space, expressing through drawings their visions and needs, such as larger classrooms, a library and well-equipped toilets.

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