The area of Las Laderas de Chillon is one of extreme poverty. This area is the main but not the only focus for our work in the wider community. Las Laderas is one of the nearby communities from which many of our children come, and we work in close collaboration with the local parish and the social worker there. We have provided employment for several people in Las Laderas, both in our refuge and in the building projects we have funded. Women’s groups here also provide crafts items for sale by Project Peru in the UK. All of this is additional to our ‘core’ task of providing for our refuge in Zapallal.
Over the past years a number of our volunteers have given their time helping out in the local nursery school or in the various community or ‘soup kitchens’ in Las Laderas.
Hand-made crafts in Las Laderas
A brief description of the workshops making crafts and cards in Las Laderas
The workshop started up in the parish in about 1997 as a response to the needs of two specific groups: young people without the financial resources to continue their studies, and single mothers who had to help their families with their basic needs. This workshop is very important as a real means of support in the face of the lack of employment opportunities in Peru. Over the years the project has really helped the many people who have participated. In 2012 there were nine young people and single mothers in the group, but later young men have joined them. They draw on their own experience of Peruvian culture; for example the Christmas cards reflect Peru’s indigenous culture in the choice of landscapes, clothes and animals. The cards are made in stages by the group so that everyone can contribute according to their ability.
The photos show the workshops which make the cards and other crafts. Project Peru supports this group by buying their crafts at a fair price for sale on our craft stalls in the UK.
Building projects in Las Laderas
Some of Project Peru’s short-term building projects in Las Laderas have included the following:
Building an emergency centre used as a residential facility and as a drop in centre and a facility for older people
Expanding an existing nursery [huahuahuasi]
Building a new community dining room [comedor] and nursery [huahuahuasi]
Building houses for some of ‘our’ families from the refuge
Building a new therapeutic centre to replace an existing one
Building over a 6 year period a series of new wooden houses for selected families in extreme need. This reached a total of 100 houses by 2017. This has been completed in partnership with Amoria Bond, a Manchester-based recruitment company.
Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University [now known as Leeds Beckett University], both established relationships with Project Peru between 2006 and 2010 and several individuals have continued their involvement with us since. In close collaboration with Project Peru the students all raised funds in the UK both collectively and individually, including through sponsored activities and events. Most also walked the Inca Trail to raise funds. During these years the groups of students stayed at the Project Peru children’s home (in Zapallal) for approximately one month each. They were involved both in activities with the children there, and also Project Peru directed the funding they had raised for them to work on actually doing some of the building for the various projects we had identified in Las Laderas as listed above. Some of their activities are shown below.