Since its inception, CONAPAC and the Adopt-A-School program have had the support of travelers from around the world. They have told their families and friends about our programs and word has spread. Without consistent and faithful support, CONAPAC cannot function at the high level it does, nor can it reach the many people who benefit from our donors' support. At right, Beverly Len of Michigan presents school supplies to the children of the Irlanda village school she supports.
Nancy Kopf, from Titusville, Pennsylvania, better known as Pachita (Earth Mama), has been CONAPAC’s biggest individual fundraiser. Pachita first came to Perú in 2002 with a tour group, and at that time she visited the school in the village of Jorge Chavez, which she says changed her life forever. Back home she spends an extensive time talking to groups and individuals about the Adopt-A-School program. She consistently raises enough money to adopt 15-20 schools each year.
The Schader-Cowal Family, whose members range from the age of one to 94, has contributed to the Juancho Playa school for the past several years. For many years in the past, teachers Nancy and Mike Cowal, along with their classes at Cape Hatteras School in North Carolina, had been donors to the Adopt-A-School program. In 2008 Nancy traveled to Perú with friends. They stayed at Explorama, birding, swimming, fishing, and visiting villages. That visit reignited her interest and sparked the others' interest in the program. In the names of their families, they joined Adopt-A-School the next year, supporting schools and contributing to the building of water plants.
Susan Galiher first traveled to the Amazon from her home in Burke, Virginia, as a tourist. Her small group of four women visited the school at Isla Tamanco. Their tour guide told them about CONAPAC, and she decided to adopt Tamanco. She thought the school could use a fresh coat of paint, so she contacted CONAPAC and offered to purchase paint. She was told, "Thank you, but we would really prefer latrines." So she funded the latrine project at Tamanco and learned a valuable lesson: Ask people what they want instead of assuming what they need! The next year, she provided funding to renovate the high school student dormitory. When she returned to help during Adopt-A-School week two years later, Susan found out that the dormitory was for boys only. That appalled her, so she paid for the building of a girls' dormitory as well. Recently she provided funds for a computer and printer at the school. She is grateful that the Detroit Zoological Society and CONAPAC have made it possible for her to help.
Linda Lownds' first experience with the Adopt-A-School program was in 1999. It was such an incredible experience that she was immediately hooked and decided to participate in sponsoring schools with friends. She has visited the communities on a regular basis (sometimes as often as three times a year) and often brings along friends from her home in Canada. A special note—Linda is the sponsor of what we call our “Soap Project." Each year Linda provides the resources to purchase detergent, bar soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and bath towels for several villages.