Tag: Peru

Unbound mother
Nov 20 2013

Peru: ‘Empire of hidden treasures’


Join us as we celebrate Geography Awareness Week with National Geographic and friends. This year’s theme “focuses on how geography enables us all to be intrepid explorers in our own way.”

Today on CFCA’s 32-year anniversary, we take a closer look at our work in the South American country, Peru.

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Aug 3 2012

Wisdom of the Ages: Blanca, 76, and Luis, 77, from Peru

Here is an interview with Blanca, 76, and Luis, 77; two sponsored aging friends in the Hope for a Family program in Lima, Peru. They were married 41 years ago and have supported each other since.

Blanca and Luis, CFCA sponsored aging couple in Lima, Peru.

Blanca, 76, and Luis, 77, are sponsored through CFCA in Peru.

What is your secret for a long life?

Blanca: To laugh when you can and to cry when you have to.

Luis: Do not complain about life, remain joyful and work hard because when working, you forget about problems.

What advice do you have for young people?

Blanca: Stay away from drugs.

Luis: Keep your mind busy doing activities that you enjoy because a free mind tends to think about bad things. Young people must make an effort to find good company, good friends. Read more

Dec 16 2011

How Estrella got a new costume for her singing performances

Henry Perez, CFCA project coordinator in Lima, Peru, sent us a short series of updates about sponsored friends and how they are being empowered through sponsorship benefits. Here’s the story of Estrella, a sponsored child who sings traditional Peruvian music.

Second from right is Estrella, CFCA sponsored child in Peru, with her family

Second from right is Estrella, CFCA sponsored child in Peru, with her family.

Estrella was sponsored one year ago through CFCA.

She has been singing Peruvian Huaynos music since she was 4, and she is 11 now.

She is in sixth grade and lives with her father, Maximo, who works as a taxi driver, and her mother, Domitila, in Santa Rosa.

Estrella sings in school activities and in the community, and she wants to take her art to a professional level.

She practices at home and wears a special costume, which is very important to her because it is a way to identify herself.

In September 2011, all her costumes were stolen and she was not able to perform any more, but thanks to the sponsorship program, her family saved enough money through their sponsorship benefits to buy the costumes she wears now.

Estrella is happy and very thankful to CFCA, for this makes her dream of being a singer come true.

Nov 10 2011

Sponsorship gives dignity to those with special needs

Doris, CFCA sponsored child in Peru, and family

Doris, CFCA sponsored child in Peru, and her family.

Henry Perez, CFCA project coordinator in Lima, Peru, sent us this short update about Doris and her family and how they are being empowered through sponsorship benefits.

Doris was sponsored through CFCA when she was 4. She is 12 now and in first year at junior high at Virgin del Rosario School, in Manchay, Peru.

She is so thankful to CFCA for giving her the opportunity to continue with her studies.

Her mother belongs to a CFCA mothers group, which meets twice a month.

Her father’s name is Dionisio, and he suffered from polio when he was young. The disease left him partially paralyzed in the legs and left arm.

In spite of this disability, he works as a tailor. He works at home and supports his family.

He sews in a small machine that has a small engine; he uses his right hand because he canít use his legs. His neighbors say he is a good tailor.

Doris’ mother sells small jellies and tamales in the streets. In this way, she helps contribute to the family’s income.

Both of Doris’ parents are responsible for helping sponsored children and their families write letters to sponsors in the mothers group.

They are grateful to CFCA for supporting their daughter’s education and are happy to participate in the mothers group.

Sponsored friends and their families are our priority. They own the sponsorship program.

Therefore, they must decide on how sponsorship benefits are distributed and their involvement in the CFCA project, both in its planning and its implementation and evaluation.

In this sense, families are empowered and with CFCA’s help and facilitation, they become protagonists in managing the sponsorship program.

The Lima project, along with all the CFCA projects, understands that dignity is the fundamental value of families. Being treated with dignity is having the freedom to decide about their futures, their families and their communities.

Feb 16 2011

A look back at Walk2gether in Peru

CFCA asks project coordinators in the countries that Walk2gether visits to complete questionnaires about their experience with the walk. The questions are intended to identify the walk’s highlights and challenges in their country. Here are some comments from Henry Perez, project coordinator in Lima, Peru. (Walk2gether is now in Bolivia.)

What are the most memorable moments during the walk?

The Walk2gether camper had to leave the walk so that its country circulation permits could be renewed in Peru. We drove the camper back to the border to renew the permits.

During this trip, the camper suffered several mechanical problems, causing a delay in catching up with the walk.

Walk2gether in the Peruvian desert

Walk2gether in the desert in Peru.

The camper was away from Walk2gether about five days. Most of Bob’s equipment and gear is inside. It’s the only place where he has time to rest and relax during the walk.

In spite of this, Bob showed his strength and will to continue and spent these days in a minivan to rest and keep the little gear he had. We were able to spend more time with him and see a different side of his humanity.

The second most memorable moment was walking on the road from Arequipa to Juliaca. The narrow, steep roads took us from 2,800 meters (about 1.7 miles) above sea level to 4,528 meters (about 2.8 miles) in the same day.

The curves were very dangerous and the visibility was poor. A very strong rainstorm occurred, and we suffered extreme cold that numbed our body. Then a hailstorm hit as we were going up the road.

Despite these extreme weather and road conditions, Bob did not stop and motivated all of us to continue with our mission.

What are some challenges Walk2gether encountered?

CFCA-Lima has three full-time staff members and serves about 1,600 sponsored members. At the same time, the walk in Peru was going to be very long, almost four months, because Peru is a big country ó almost twice the size of Texas. During much of the walk no sponsored members or their families were nearby to accompany it.

All three of us agreed to take on this challenge, and we did it!

What are some things that went well?

We had company and protection from the national police and the ability to consolidate our team’s duties by multitasking.

Walk2gether portable bathroom

Walk2gether’s portable bathroom.

We had a police escort 98 percent of the way in Peru. Some policemen even joined the core group of the walk (“Grupo Corazon”) and walked long distances, offering protection.

Did you have a funny moment during the walk?

Many! One was at a rest stop when one of the drivers went to use the portable bathroom.

Nobody knew he was in there and the truck driver pulling the portable bathroom took off.

The man inside the bathroom did not know what to do. He opened the door and realized it was moving, but he could not close the door again and stayed and greeted the people in the buses that were passing by.

We remembered this moment along the rest of the walk!

Did anything go wrong?

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Jan 20 2011

CFCA caption contest: Donkeys and deserts

Update: We have finished judging on this caption contest and have announced the winner. Thanks to all who participated.

Frigid temperatures, Walk2gether in the Andes, beautiful landscapes and ambling donkeys Ö they can only mean one thing.

CFCA caption contest

A CFCA caption contest!

How would you describe the action going on in this picture? Share with us your clever caption by adding a comment below.

(Here’s a refresher on our guidelines ñ we don’t accept offensive or inappropriate comments, profane or abusive language.)

A team of qualified panelists (a.k.a. CFCA employees) will pick the winning caption in early†February. The winner will receive a prize of a Walk2gether bracelet as well as recognition from the general CFCA community.

Enjoy, and feel free to pass this on to your friends!

Jan 17 2011

Bob from the Road – Peru/Bolivia crossing

Bob on Walk2getherBob Hentzen and the Walk2gether team have left Peru and are now crossing into Bolivia.

They have walked more than 5,000 miles of the 8,000-mile walk through some of the highest terrain they will encounter: the Altiplano of Peru. Their highest altitude to date was 14,856 feet above sea level.

Thank you for all your prayers and support of Walk2gether during this time.

Jan 10 2011

Bob’s updates along Walk2gether

We’ve been receiving almost daily reports from Walk2gether’s progress in Peru. The team has reached its highest point to date at 14,856 feet!

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Bob writes on Jan. 8:

Breathtaking natural beauty surrounds us on this highest day of Walk2gether.

We have walked this entire day at more than 14,000 feet and peaked at 14,856. With the arrival of Alberto Castro (originally from Colombia), we now have walkers from the United States, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and Ecuador.

We left our home base at 2 a.m. to reach our starting point. The camper was running low on gasoline, and we had quite a challenge finding a gas station (called ìgrifoî in Peru) open at this early hour.

Very much open to overflowing were the many disco bars, catering to the young people of Juliaca. I pray that with Godís grace and walking together, we can encourage these young people to channel their energies for good.

In contrast to the partygoers are the humble peasants, walking through the cold of the early morning carrying heavy loads of fruits, vegetables and handwoven blankets to market.

Jan. 7

The day started off cold but indescribably beautiful on the high chaparral that goes on forever, adorned by inspiring shepherd families caring for herds of woolly alpacas, llamas and vicunas. The wind kicked up in the afternoon with an abundance of hail.

The walkers put on all the clothes we had, and were still very cold. Two of the group took ill from the altitude, but are OK this next morning, gracias a Dios.

The storm pelted us but good, and it left the city of Juliaca blanketed in white, looking like Christmas eves of old. But weíre here with Godís people; we carry you in our hearts; weíre safe; weíre getting there; we send our love.

Jan. 6

After enjoying a phenomenal day with 386 sponsored members and their families, Father Alex and staff on Jan. 2, we have gone deeper and higher into the Andes, and right through a National Reserve for Flora y Fauna.

Yesterday and today, we have walked at right around 14,000 feet above sea level. Very cold in the early morning and late afternoon.

It’s a challenge to walk at these high altitudes, but itís also a very rewarding privilege to walk with Godís people amidst majestic snow-peaked mountains and hundreds of alpacas, vicunas, llamas and song birds.

Listen to Bob’s podcast in December about walking along the high chaparral:

Walk2gether on the high chaparral by cfcausa

Dec 27 2010

Walk2gether: Visiting the ‘Saints of Lima’

Catherine QuirogaCatherine Quiroga, CFCA director of information services, sent us this reflection from Peru. She has safely returned to the U.S. after joining Walk2gether, which continues in Peru.

From ìHeroes/Saints of the Walkî to ìSaints of LimaîÖ. The hijas de la misericordia (Sisters of Mercy) who run the residence home for girls are my No. 1 candidates.

The love and loving discipline they lavish on these girls are evident in how wholesome, happy and loving the girls are. The girls learn not just school subjects but life lessons ñ how to cook, clean and take care of each other.

The mother superior was here from Chile. She frequently served us and quietly cleared the table. Her attitude of gentle service and compassion is shown in each of the sisters.

One stood out among the others (although she probably wouldnít want to) ñ Hermana (or rather Madre) Cristina. As Bob (CFCA President Bob Hentzen) said, her spirit permeates this place ñ her joyful spirit and openness. Ö I believe those closest to God are full of joy. Over the last few days we have walked with God through these precious sisters.

Weíre sad to leave but onward we go ñ step by step.

Day one
Walked into Lima today Ö More than 80 people were ready to walk at 3:30 a.m..

Walk2gether in Peru

The Walk2gether team continues through Peru.

Ö. It was a challenge keeping this group secure along the road, but they started dropping out at the end of the first 5K, catching buses to return home. At 15K most were done ñ leaving us with about 12 girls from the residence home and the core group as we neared the center of Lima.

I was tracking our speed on my Garmin GPS ñ doing 1 km (about 0.6 mile) in less than 13 minutes. Ö

By now, my feet were ready to stop. I am so glad Bob had cut back to 35 km/day (more than 21 miles per day).

After an hour passed, I thought maybe Israel (our support vehicle driver) missed seeing the marker. We kept moving. Finally we came to a different style of marking ñ it said CFCA.

Turns out the police saw where the original marker was and decided it was too dangerous for us to stop there so they removed it. Ö Bob estimates we probably did more than 40 km (about 25 miles) with all the side roads, highway crossings and the additional km ñ all before lunch.

Day two

Girls from the residence home arrived mid-morning along with Hermana Cristina and a newly ordained priest friend of hers. We eventually left Lima.

At 30K, we stopped at a nice highway rest stop ñ gasoline station/eating places fairly similar to those in the U.S. Ö

After lunch and the final 5K, we bid the girls farewell ñ from here on, it will probably just be the core group.

A child from Peru

A child dressed in Peruvian clothing

Days three and four

We walked past the beaches south of Lima. Almost everyone took the opportunity to sit and watch the ocean.

As we get farther south of Lima you see the wealthier side of Peru ñ motocross bike paths on the hillsides, more personal cars on the road.

The farther we go the more money is evident Ö signs for beach condos, a golf course, etcÖ This is a very picturesque country.

Day five

Yesterday was filled with activities by the CFCA communities. Many displayed their livelihood projects.

Then they had a program for us ñ scheduled to last three hours but took about five. Even the seminarians prepared songs to share.

Ö.After many dances, speeches and songs, they had the grand finale. A ìmotoî had driven onto the back half of the field with lots of bamboo-type stuff. They proceeded to build a structure ñ dedicated to CFCA. Once everything was over they told the parents to keep their children under control and proceeded to start up fireworks that had been wired into the structure Ö Amazing and beautiful Ö

Take care,

Dec 7 2010

Walk2gether: Peruvian children cheer on Bob

Catherine QuirogaCatherine Quiroga, CFCA director of information services, sent us this reflection from Peru. She has safely returned to the U.S. after joining Walk2gether, which continues in Peru.

We walked into Lima to a residence home for girls (Nuestra SeÒora de Misericordia, or “Our Lady of Mercy”).

When I arrived on Thursday morning, we came here to ride out with them (or them with us) to meet Bob. We stuffed 20 people into a van probably intended for 15 ñ girls, a couple of moms, a couple of Catholic sisters, Luis (from Ocotepeque, Honduras) and myself. What a welcome to Peru!

They fashioned extra seats in the van by putting in little wooden school chairs. This was in addition to girls sitting on one anotherís laps. They were all so friendly, good-hearted and joyful.

Walk2gether in Peru

A Peruvian group joins Walk2gether out in the desert.

Bob told me the residence home had contests ñ the group that could come up with the best cheers for Bob would get to join him for a day.

When we found Bobís entourage (thankfully, close to a rest time), they cheered him on appropriately. Lots of hugs, hellos, etc. Ö After a brief rest, we got them vested up (with safety vests) and we were off.

When we stopped for lunch at 30 km (about 18.6 miles), one mom could barely move. Her feet seemed to be made out of wooden blocks. Ö. But she wouldnít give up.

She finished out the entire 35 km (about 21.7 miles) ñ so sweet, so determined to be a part of this movement and show her gratitude to Bob. She joined us again today. Both she and her feet fully recovered.

Back to today …

We drove to the residence home after yesterdayís walk and stayed the night here. And although many of the girls said they were going to walk with us today, none showed up at 3 a.m. when we were leaving.

At some point in the morning, a somewhat small bus stopped on the other side of the highway and our first group joined us (about 15-20 in this group).

A little bit later up the road, I saw something ñ a huge sign … more kids. Introductions, songs, cheers, more vests handed out, more water and onward … a little further down the road, the familiar blue van ñ kids from the residence home. What a joy to see them again!

Walk2gether in Peru

Girls from the residence home meet Walk2gether.

As we neared Lima, another group ñ more girls from the residence home walking to meet us! What a delight!

We now had anywhere from 70-100 people ñ moms, kids and vehicles. … Thankfully we also had a police escort.

As we prepared for a water/rest stop, they moved us further along to a safer place ñ there was now time for rest and more water.

I do hope I can get the pictures uploaded of the welcome we received at the residence home in Lima. Both sides of the entrance lined with kids, teachers, other CFCA subproject coordinators along with a band. What fanfare.

They treated us to a nice program ñ more band music, introductions, speeches, etc. before they finally released us!