The land and gardens at the refuge

 Where we started from 

In the late ‘80s prior to Project Peru’s involvement, the land was settled and used as a refuge for children and families displaced during Peru’s ‘civil war’ and this was the basis from which we started in 1992.

After most of the first basic phase of buildings had been completed we focused on clearing some more of the land and restoring the ‘choza’ [the gazebo/summer house] in one corner of the land. One of our volunteers from UK, ably assisted by some of the staff and the children, inspired a radical change here during a visit in August 2003 by constructing a garden.

   

In one corner stood a terraced area with a large, old open sided shelter with a thatched roof, locally known as 'the choza'. The terraces on which this stood were edged with stones, but in many places these had fallen down. They set about repairing the stone walling and building some steps up to the shelter, then moved on to dismantling it.  All of it was rotten apart from the central pole. It was reconstructed to exactly the same design as the old one and is regularly in use, providing a peaceful area for classes, homework, recreation and meetings, an is now surrounded by a flourishing garden.

 

 

More recent photos [below] show how far this garden area has been developed from the early beginnings.

Apart from the buildings, the perimeter wall and developing the garden around the 'choza', we have over the years since been able to focus on improving the general environment all over the refuge, including paths and grass in the areas around the new buildings. This includes lawns, flowers, shrubs, ornamental and fruit trees and vegetables. 

During 2011 we acquired a new piece of land near the refuge [approximately 1000 square metres] principally for future development of accommodation for some of our older boys, and for wider community use, subject to funds being available. We have also started to develop this site as an environmental project, together with a kitchen garden which is already adding both economic, educational and environmental value.

To see more of this development see http://projectperu.org.uk/our-work/a-secret-garden-in-the-shanty-towns.htm