Esperança

Building Homes & Improving Health in Peru

Two years ago, Lorenzo and his young family lived in despair.

A proud member of the Q’eros Nation, a cluster of villages made up of the indigenous people of the Peruvian Andes, Lorenzo was accustomed to living through treacherous terrain and harsh weather.  However, living conditions often put his family in danger. Little grows in this frozen tundra, and his home left them exposed to the elements.

“We lived in a straw house and the rain would leak on our son’s notebooks. There used to be a lot of smoke in our house, and we lived very sadly. I could cry telling my story.”

But a new hope was about to come to Lorenzo’s community, in the form of Esperança’s Peruvian partner, CADEP.

In 2018, this partnership began with the construction of 20 new acclimatized homes in the neighboring village in the hopes of improving quality of live for these special peoples.

CADEP staff measuring the specs for Lorenzo's new home.

Now, it was Lorenzo's turn.

In 2019, CADEP and Esperança moved to the next Q'eros village; Coluyo. The community, including Lorenzo, worked together to rebuild family homes, one at a time, installing stoves with ventilation, solar panels to heat water for bathing, and attached greenhouses to cultivate vegetables.

But the transformation didn’t stop there. Esperança wanted to ensure that community members would have the tools AND the knowledge needed to instill healthy habits in future generations.

So, the education piece began. Lorenzo’s young son, along with the other school-age children, were taught hand washing and other hygiene practices. Lorenzo himself, and other adults from Q’eros, were trained best cultivation practices for vegetables such as lettuce, beets, cabbage, chard, herbs.

Lorenzo beams with pride over his new home, complete with a ventilated stove and greenhouse.

“Now I’m happy thanks to Esperança. The vegetables grow in our greenhouses and now we know how to plant them. Before we didn’t have lettuce, beets, cabbage, or cilantro. Before we didn’t even eat vegetables.”

Meeting the basic necessities of health, a community has been transformed. Lorenzo and his family now beam with pride at the thought of carrying on the Q’ero traditions in a healthy way.

“We are happy at heart, now we have all changed. Things are much better now.  With a very big heart I’m grateful to the organization.”

Elena Burr