Jeanette Blain | Staff Writer | @JeanetteBlain
Women of the Mountains, an academic lecture by Dr. Sara Ulloa was held April 1 in room SC213B as part of Global Spotlight Peru.
The event was a forum to raise awareness for International Women of the Mountains as well as other UVU initiatives that aim to help improve the lives of women and children living in mountainous regions around the world.
40 people, mainly students, attended the lecture.
Ulloa is a Spanish associate professor in the UVU Languages Department. Her presentation focused on the challenges that many women in the Andes region of Peru face.
According to Ulloa, Andean women have lower rates of education, job opportunities and access to technology when compared to other areas of Peru.
“We see a lot of working women, and we’re talking about hard work. Still, they are happy people. They are willing to give you everything,” Ulloa said.
Ulloa showed a segment from the documentary about the One Laptop Per Child project. OLPC helped revolutionize the way young Peruvians approach learning. However, when the project was implemented, many Andean communities did not have access to the internet or even electricity.
Peru has seen improvement but there is still work to do.
In 2011, Ulloa and a group of UVU students raised money to go to Peru to deliver Christmas gifts to children in a region that had suffered three earthquakes in one month.
Ulloa is the Peru Study Abroad Director for UVU. In May 2014, she led a group of students as they visited the Andean villages of the Cusco and La Libertad regions. The students engaged with Peruvian culture while giving service to these communities. They even lost a soccer match to local children.
Thanks to the work of students and faculty, in groups like UVU Sustainable Mountain Development Club, UVU is standing out on the international stage.
Deena Ainge is the President of the Sustainable Mountain Development club. She said, “The goal of the club is to improve the lives of the mountain people, which includes people in Utah.”
After the lecture, Ulloa took time to meet individually with students and answer questions. Fliers were also available with more information.
In October 2015, UVU will host the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference. The event is co-organized by UVU and the International University of Kyrgyzstan and will help raise awareness, mobilize support, and assist in development of mountain communities.