Our Affiliated Project: The Villa School in Lima, Peru


facts about the villa school:

  • Ages served: The school serves children between the ages of 5 and 19 years old.
  • Average enrollment: Approximately 1800 students are enrolled in the school.
  • Curriculum: In addition to core academic subjects, the school offers vocational skills training in such areas as sewing, carpentry, computer literacy and a recently-added “mini enterprise” course, which involves making products like baked goods and selling/marketing them in the community.
  • Academic year: The school year typically begins in March and ends in mid-December. Students enjoy summer break from mid-December through the end of February as well as a short winter break in July.
  • Nutrition: All students receive a free lunch each day.
  • Medical care: Students’ health is closely monitored at the school. Additionally, under the school’s insurance program, a nearby hospital provides students with free services as the need arises.
  • Extracurricular activities: Due to students’ typically dysfunctional home environments, the Villa School offers an afterschool program where students are able to have a quiet area to study, do their homework and receive tutoring. Recreational activities such as sports are also offered.

Located along South America’s central-western coast, Peru comprises 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, the culture that 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 1990s, which claimed countless lives and caused thousands of families who had relied upon agriculture for generations to seek shelter in large cities where they encountered even deeper poverty.

While Peru as a whole suffers from high unemployment, hyperinflation and all the difficulties that poverty entails, problems like disease, malnutrition and crime are most pronounced in its overcrowded urban areas. These maladies are perhaps the worst in the nation’s capital, Lima. Located in the Villa El Salvador slum district of Lima, the Villa 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 difficult socioeconomic circumstances.