CU Peru hosts a show supporting global health care at Hooked on Colfax tomorrow

This Saturday, April 6, Hooked on Colfax will donate its wall space to Local Goes Global, an evening devoted to raising money through art for a global health-focused nonprofit, Comunidades Unidas Peru. A student-run organization, CU Peru comprises volunteers from various schools at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Members have donated pieces for the show, and the proceeds from Saturday's sales will help them train health workers in the Peruvian Amazon this summer.

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"CU Peru was started in 2010, but it's been in existence for the last five years or so," says Igor Shumskiy, a medical student and president of the nonprofit. "We have students coming from all health-professional schools at the Anschutz Medical Campus -- med school, P.A. school, pharmacy school, M.P.A. school, nurse practitioner and nursing school. Our mission is to really provide village health workers in the Peruvian Amazon with the tools to be able to help their communities and improve the lives of their communities."

The students will spend several weeks in the Peruvian Amazon this summer, sharing knowledge and skills training with the health-care providers on site. "We run three- to four-day trainings down there, in their villages; we provide them with different triage skills, skills for assessing different illnesses and ways to improve public health," says Shumskiy.

"We do it all at no cost to them; they get free transportation, free food, free lodging and free educational resources," he continues. "This summer will be our fourth annual training. We usually get about sixty to eighty village health workers who show up to our trainings."

CU Peru has no outside funding -- which is why benefits like this show are so important. "We are really self-sustaining; we work on fundraising and scholarships. We don't get any financial support from the university whatsoever," say Shumskiy. "We have a couple faculty and university mentors who help us out and give us guidance, but the majority of the work is done by students. We're just students who choose to do this in their free time."

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The Local Goes Global benefit art show for CU Peru starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Hooked on Colfax. Pieces range from $10 to $150, and prints will be available for a donation. Can't make it to the benefit? Donations can be made directly to the nonprofit through the CU Peru website. Hooked on Colfax will also soon be offering Peruvian coffee from local roaster Corvus Coffee, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the nonprofit.

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