Behind the scenes of the Concrete Jungle Foundation

Behind the scenes of the Concrete Jungle Foundation

Noelina Rissman

Find out the story behind its creation and get to know the founder!

As previously published through Living in Peru, the newly founded Concrete Jungle Foundation has begun to improve the livelihoods of local Peruvian children by building skateparks in communities with a greater need.

However, how much do you know about the details? The organization's crowdfunding efforts to raise $10,000 in three months for construction of the first skate park in Trujillo are nothing to sneeze at.

So, Living in Peru decided to catch up with one of the founders and creators of Concrete Jungle Foundation, Clément Taquet.

As a chirpy, young, Belgium native, Taquet's initial inspiration sprouted back around 2008 after researching and finding volunteer programs allowing him to skate while teaching young children to skate as well. After putting his dream on hold in order to finish higher education, Taquet wound up in Peru years later in April 2016 after subsequent years of traveling and working worldwide that allowed him to save up enough to make the move.


(Photo: Clement Taquet/ Concrete Jungle Foundation)

Around this time, Taquet began volunteering with UK native Harry Gerrard to help repair a skate park outside of Huanchaco, where his love for the Land of the Incas flourished. After which, Taquet decided to find work within the country and ultimately begin his pursuit of being able to build skate parks that benefit Peru's impoverished children and communities.

And so began Concrete Jungle Foundation.

With advice and support from other organizations and Gerrard's skate park building experiences, the pair began efforts for their first project in Alto Trujillo, a small district of the northern province of Trujillo, in September 2016.

Taquet and Gerrard began by working with media to create videos and the story as well as constructing the websites and content needed to launch the organization. When all was ready in December, they began the fundraising campaign through the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

One of their most impressive feats of the process? Raising $10,000 within just three months.


(Photo: Clement Taquet/ Concrete Jungle Foundation)

With volunteers pouring in from all parts of the world – think Canada, Belgium, England, Switzerland, and the United States among others – to assist with funding and construction as well as generous donations – such as 50 skateboards from a U.S. supporter – for their cause, the pair was able to finish organizing and building the park in the beginning of March 2017.

And some might wonder where exactly did the name Concrete Jungle come from, of all places?


(Photo: Clement Taquet/ Concrete Jungle Foundation)

Many of the construction materials used were recycled and found around Colegio Simon Lozano Garcia, the school in Alto Trujillo where the skate park is built. This includes the old tires and sand bags to fill the ramps to the 20 palm trees surrounding the space that were generously donated by a Trujillo native.
'œWe want to bring [in] the eco-side and show the kids [about] recycling, [that] it's possible to make something beautiful out of trash,' Taquet stated.
The skate park is to be self-sustaining after the grand opening on April 28; therefore, the NGO SKIP, Supporting Kids in Peru, from Trujillo will take over the project according to guidelines set forth by the pair to keep it community-based.

Taquet's hope for the organization is to be able to build a skate park a year around Central and Latin America in places with a need for community involvement. His eyes are on Cuba for the following year, but he admitted they have considered further construction in other Peruvian cities, such as Cusco and Iquitos.
'œWe'd like to go to Cuba and build one day, but it all depends on the needs and if we can find a school and NGO because we like to keep it in an educational way, trying to link skateboarding and school together to see if it can improve lives of children,' Taquet said. 'œBut we are open to everything.'

Taquet's finishing remarks on Trujillo's successful completion and the years to come?

'œAll for the love of skateboarding!'
To keep up with Concrete Jungle Foundation and their latest news, visit their Facebook page .

Also, the NGO SKIP is actively searching for volunteers willing to help and teach children the joys and values of skateboarding and the importance of the environment. Visit their page here .

Noelina’s first jump into Peruvian life happened when she studied abroad in Lima her last semester of college. After falling in love with the culture, food, and general lifestyle, she soon moved back to the country to continue her passion of writing and editing. Since then, she hasn’t looked back and, instead, looks forward to what more there is to come. You can contact her by writing to noelina.rissman@gmail.com

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