Underdeveloped people : 1

Look at this time before you start

The Indians living on the high plains of the Andes Mountains, in South America, have a background rich in history but rich in little else. These seven million people from the great old Indian nation live in a land of few trees, poor soil, cutting winds and biting cold. Their farms do not give enough food to support them. Their children from the age of three or four must work in the fields. The death rate of their babies is among the highest in the world, their standards of education among the lowest. They live at heights of ten of fifteen thousand feet, where even the air lacks the things necessary for live.

Five international organization have combined efforts to seek the answer to the problems of the unfortunate descendants of the Inca Indians. They are working with the governments of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador on what they call the Andean mission. Six areas have been formed, one each in Ecuador and Peru, four in Bolivian. Here methods are tested to attack poor education, poor food, poor living conditions and disease all at once.
We passed fields of low corn and thin wheat. Whole Villages were at work planting potatoes. The men formed a line and walked slowly backward, beating the soil with sticks. The women, on hands and knees, followed the man, breaking the hard earth with their hands. Their red and orange skirts flashed brightly in the sun. The scene was beautiful, but the land, seed and crops were all poor.

Upon arriving at the village, we went to visit the school for carpenters.  It was in an old building where thirty boys were attending classes. There were two classrooms containing complete sets of tools. I saw more tools there than in any carpenter’s shop in Latin America. Most of the boys were cutting boards for practice. They worked steadily and did not even look up when we entered. The room was clean as a hospital.

The teacher remarked that the greatest problem at the moment was finding wood, as almost no trees grow on a high plain. Someone remarked that it would not take long for the school to produce too many carpenters in an area without trees, where most of the buildings were of stoner mud.
The wood brought from the jungle was too costly for most of the people of the school was to train carpenters and mechanics to go to other part of the country. They would work where the government is developing new villages at the edge of the jungle.
Across from the carpentry-room there was a machine for producing electric power. With it the boys would be taught their first lesson in electricity. Other boys studied car repairing.

In the yard a group of boys surrounded a large tractor. The teacher was showing them how to operate it. No one was sure how many other tractors there were in the area. Guesses ranged from two to ten. If the school turned out more boys to handle them than the farms could use, the rest, it was hoped, would seek a living in the lower villages where more people lived.


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