Grand Circle Foundation to fund community service project on behalf of families in Peru
For the past five years, Leonor Ccori and her family have been welcoming OAT travelers into their adobe home in Urubamba, Peru, for home-hosted dinners—but when OAT associate Dee Kronenberg visited the region during her sabbatical in February, the meal was very different: The Ccoris' beautiful home had been washed away by the raging floodwaters of the Urubamba River. And aside from a few salvaged household items, the family had lost everything.
In the wake of this loss, however, the family remained committed to sharing their culture with OAT travelers. Dee's entire group was moved when the family invited them to a sister-in-law's house, where an intact kitchen enabled Leonor and her daughters to serve a meal of local dishes. "We learned that the family is sleeping and living in tents provided by the government," says Dee. "Yet here they were entertaining us."
The Ccoris are one of two OAT host families affected by this devastating disaster. Emma Llanos, who has also been hosting OAT travelers for more than five years, lost her home as well. She and her husband, who have two children, had just finished renovating their house when the mudslides washed it away. Leonor, a mother of three, faces an added challenge: her husband works for a hotel that was damaged and forced to close. Until it reopens, he is unemployed.
Our $24,257 donation, which includes contributions from 216 travelers and a matching gift from the Foundation, will completely cover the cost to rebuild both houses—so we can help the Ccori and Llanos families move out of their government-supplied tents and into real homes again. While we are still in the planning stages of this project, we expect that the building will begin this spring, after the heavy seasonal rains have stopped in the region. Our local staff in Peru is regularly assessing the situation. When weather permits, a community service team of our Cusco associates, Trip Leaders, and area vendors will donate their time to aid in the rebuilding effort.
To receive updates on our progress in Peru, we encourage you to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.