Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Graduation Ceremony

I feel really happy. I feel so honoured to have witnessed this. It was the graduation ceremony of the first generation of Mosqoy students- Mosqoy 1. A few words that come to mind when I think of the ceremony are: beautiful, inspiring and proud.

Mosqoy, which means dream in Quechua, has achieved its dream and has fully funded the first generation of students. Nineteen dedicated students have completed the Mosqoy program; have completed three years of studies in Cusco; and have achieved their dreams. Yesterday’s ceremony was a celebration of their hard work and all of the hard work and support of their families and friends.

The event was very unique as it was mostly organized by the students and the families themselves. When we had arrived to Ollantaytambo, we had found out that the families have already been divided into groups, with each group assigned a certain food to make. The decorations of the room were done by Mosqoy 3, while the invitations were made by Mosqoy 2. Everybody from families and friends, to the mayor, professors, and community doctors were invited. We didn’t know what to expect, or how many people will show up, but we were armed with good spirits, positive attitude, and excited expectations.

The graduation event officially started at 3PM, but as with most things here, taking into account the Peruvian time, most of the people (and sound system) showed up around 4PM. The room slowly started filling up with people and quickly the delicious food had filled three large tables. Most of the students (from all of the generations had showed up) and with them were their families. In the end, over a hundred people were at the event, and it was so great to see all of the proud faces- whether it was the ecstatic students or the equally thrilled parents.

The official proceedings began with speeches from Raul (the cofounder), Ashley (director and cofounder) and Jasmine (assistant director). There were beautiful words, some tears shed, and much applause. The whole room was beaming with excitement and pride. I cannot describe how I felt. It was a mixture of joy, inspiration...and...I was just very moved. Each student was called up to the stage and presented with a certificate, a grad package, and a graduating class photo. The unique thing was that not only the students were invited, but the families as well. Together they crossed the stage; they posed for photos; and together they shared the joy. It was a family event. It was a family accomplishment. It was beautiful to see. A few parents took the microphone and thanked Mosqoy, thanked all the volunteers, and thanked all the donors.

I couldn’t help, but hold back a few tears. It was an event in which students and parents from Peru; volunteers in Canada, US, and Peru; and donors from all over the world have came together to celebrate the hard work and the realization of dreams that seemed far away four years ago. It was a remarkable experience and an experience that I will never forget.
Welcome to the Graduation!The students gathering around the thank you letters!
Parents and the really really delicious food.
Elvira, the Mosqoy 1 Student, Casa Mosqoy Leader, and overall awesome person, waves at us!Ashley, Ruben, Jasmine, and Raul await the ceremony!

Posing with Elvira, her mom, and the mayor of Ollantaytambo. The mayor was incredibly supportive of the organization during the ceremony and has even promised some help to Mosqoy from the town!

The students showing off their certificates!!

The presentation of Mosqoy 3 students that start in August. (the other half is on the other side of the stage)
Ashley presenting a present to the Mayor.

The parents (and the food) watch.
The graduating class!!!


  1. Jevta,
    Thank you for sharing this experience, my name is Sonya and I am volunteer to MOSQOY up in Canada, and from the photos you have posted the experience feels that much more tangible! Congratulations for all the dedicated volunteers, and congratulations to all the students for their hard work and dedication!

  2. thankyou Jevta for keeping us posted, you write very moving blogs. I cried reading this , so I imagine how you , Ashley, Raul and Jasmine, the parents, the students...are all feeling.
    It is hard to believe that 4 years have gone by and that these students are already giving back to their communities. I am so motivated to give even more.
    It is not without huge personal sacrifice from the volunteers, directors and sponsors that this has come to fruition. Highly motivated and unselfish people. Get some rest, stay well, as the work never ends.
    Also a toast to the Mosqoy 2, 3 and more graduates of the future!!!!
    and , well done all of you Mosqoy 1's. Bravo.

  3. Great job everyone. I can't believe that Mosqoy 1 have already graduated! It's been an honor to see "Mosqoy the concept" evolve into "Mosqoy the reality", chugging along on the steam of your many hours and the hard work of the Mosqoy kids themselves who have taken this opportunity by the horns. Well done Ashley and Raul and Ollantaytambo! If you're in the Bay Area and want to support Q'ente come on out to our event this July:

    Strands of Sustainability, Silent Auction
    July 31st, 5:30- 8:30pm
    Mamá Art Café, San Francisco, CA

    Great job all and thanks for the blog, Jevta!
    Emma Tipping

  4. Hi Jevta, this is Tia, Admin & Outreach Director for Mosqoy & Q'ente!

    Can I use one of these photos for a Mosqoy brochure I'm making for an event this weekend?

    I tried emailing you but it didn't work.... mail delivery error.. I don't think I have your right address!

    Let me know, thank you! Hope your travels are going well. You can email me at admin(at)