At Estancia Los Potreros, we’re incredibly proud to be part of the ‘Pack for a Purpose’ initiative. Supporting our community and responsible tourism is an ever-growing part of our core ethos. More so in the current global situation, we must not forget to help those less fortunate than us and offer as much support as we can.
For many years we have had a relationship with our local rural school “Gregoria Matorras”, which is located on the edge of the estancia. It is attended by the children of the gauchos and farm workers who work for us as well as a few families from the surrounding area. The main way we support the school is through gifts in kind, which we organise through financial donations from our guests as well as through their generosity at bringing out many supplies and gifts for the school.
With the donations we received at the start of this year we made sure that they have been distributed as normal to try and provide some normality to the children we support at our local school. In addition to this, the majority of our staff are from the surrounding villages and we consider them as a large part of our family, which allows us to further strengthen our connection with the local community. Indeed, many of our local staff studied in the school, and have then followed in the footsteps of their elder brothers, fathers, grandfathers, and have worked here alongside the Begg family for generations.
The donations help the school massively as across Argentina the smaller rural areas often get a lot less government attention and miss out on financial donations, making our support all the more vital to their long term future. Our relationship with “Pack for a Purpose” helps us to maximise the impact we are able to have in our local area. By operating a small shop on the estancia, we donate all the income and financial donations directly towards the school’s projects. Examples of this include supplying them with their first computer, a printer as well as larger projects such a solar panel, most recently we have provided a new cooker. This is incredibly important for the school as the students are given a hot meal at lunchtime which otherwise would not be provided. Stationary donations help make it possible for students at the school to have the necessary exercise books and writing materials to maximise their opportunities and success.
We often receive donations of clothing and shoes from guests who are finishing their travels, and this is something which is always appreciated for our local staff and for their families. Although the majority of these clothes are for adults we take them down to the school and the main teacher will then distribute them amongst the children’s families and what she doesn’t donate to them she will take to our local church which takes donations to the homeless community and increases our positive impact. We are very fortunate that we often receive very generous donations from our guests. This is sometimes too much to gift to one school of only 12 pupils, so we will often leave things with their head teacher, sister to our headman on the estancia, and she will divide and deliver equally amongst other schools in the area. This is such a great way at furthering our positive impact.
We often ride down to the local school and take donations directly to the children. These visits usually involve a game of football in the playground and a very exciting morning for the students. While we ask for stationary, footballs, children’s games, we gratefully receive any donations from our guests. We are looking forward to reopening in the Argentine spring and will continue to encourage our guests to bring donations and be part of the Pack for a Purpose initiative.