Why we exist
The forgotten communities
Despite a high level of economic growth, Arequipa as a city and region in Peru has high inequalities amongst its population. Within both communities of San Isidro and Coporaque, children and their families are economically and socially vulnerable, resulting from high rates of informal labor, domestic violence, and child labor.
San Isidro, Mollebaya, Peru
San Isidro is a fairly young community on the outskirts of the city of Arequipa. Most of its inhabitants migrated around 20 years ago from the countryside, hoping for economic growth. As Arequipa is growing incredibly fast and San Isidro is only one of hundreds of new communities, the municipality of Arequipa is unable to provide proper services for them. For many years, San Isidro did not even have access to basic services like water and electricity.
A large number of the people in San Isidro work 10-15 hours a day in the production of bricks. For this hard physical work, they receive a minimum income without insurance or securities. Therefore, most families live in conditions of poverty: Low hygiene standards and a lack of sanitary facilities cause water pollution and health problems.
Coporaque, Colca Valley, Peru
Coporaque is a small village in the Colca valley around 4 hours from Arequipa. Due to the beautiful landscapes and the famous Colca Canyon, the surrounding area is a popular tourist destination. However, not many tourists even know Coporaque exists as it is located slightly off tourist tracks.
Therefore, most people in the tiny village still earn their living by working seven days a week in agriculture – the main economic activity in the area, physically demanding with little income. Many young people migrate to Arequipa hoping for a better life which not all of them might reach, finding themselves living in poverty again, just without their families and beautiful landscapes.