Our Affiliated Project: The Chacarilla School in Lima, Peru
Located along South America’s central-western coast, Peru includes arid Pacific coastlands, spectacular mountain ranges and vast Amazon rainforest. This land has been home to indigenous peoples for thousands of years, including the Inca Empire, which constructed Peru’s most iconic landmark, Machu Picchu. Peru’s rich culture, breathtaking beauty and wealth of natural resources, however, belie the abject poverty in which many of its residents live. Many rural areas are still recovering from the Sendero Luminoso terrorist attacks of the 1990’s, which claimed countless lives and caused thousands of families who had relied upon agriculture for generations to seek shelter in large cities. Unfortunately these migrants to urban areas encountered an even deeper level of poverty when they arrived.
While Peru as a whole suffers from high unemployment, hyperinflation and all the difficulties that poverty entails (for example, disease, malnutrition and crime), these maladies are most pronounced in its overcrowded urban areas. These problems are worst in the nation’s capital, Lima. For this reason, the Chacarilla School, located in one of Lima’s slum districts, serves as a beacon of hope. The Chacarilla School is a “Fé y Alegría” school — religious schools established specifically to serve impoverished neighborhoods. Through the provision of such basic needs as medical care, clothing and nutritious food along with a well-rounded education, students here receive the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.