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July 2020 Updates from Peru

posted Aug 14, 2020, 8:56 AM by Andrew Mueller

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To support Building Dignity's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru and sustain programming and development activities after the crisis, please make your 2020 donation now if you are able.

Updates from Lima & Our 


COVID-19 Response

Since our last e-mail update in March, the situation in Peru, and in Villa El Salvador in particular, has remained bleak. 

Despite swift lockdown measures led by President Martin Vizcarra, the official COVID-19 count in Peru has reached over 400,600 cases, with more 18,000 deaths. These official numbers are likely a vast understatement, and numbers continue to rise. 

Peru's stringent lockdown measures were thwarted by a combination of factors, including an unprepared healthcare system and a largely informal economy (around 70% of the employed population work in the informal sector), which meant that many family members had to continue working in markets or other informal settings, and those who lost jobs were unable to receive relief. 

This perfect storm of vulnerability and precarity has only deepened socioeconomic divides in Peru. These dire circumstances make our commitment to supporting our community in Villa El Salvador even more resolute.

We continue to regularly communicate with our team members on the ground in Villa El Salvador, and are adapting to provide urgently needed supplies to combat the spread of COVID-19. Currently, we are coordinating relief efforts in the form of baskets containing hygienic supplies and other necessities for families in our community. We remain committed to continuing to pay all of our staff, who are providing innovative lessons via our Facebook page to kids in our community. These children need educational enrichment now more than ever. Additionally, our Advisory Board is meeting on a monthly basis to direct our fundraising efforts to support work in Lima.

Stay tuned for more updates on our on-the-ground relief efforts and how you can continue to support our mission.

Sincerely,
Joscelyn Garcia and Jonah Watt
Board Members, Building Dignity


 

A Note from Ana María Mejía Huisa 
Director, Building Dignity 

A special note of appreciation from all of us that are part of Building Dignity for the support provided to our community in Villa El Salvador in these trying moments. This solidarity unites us and makes us one.

We hope that at some point this situation will change, and we are striving for it to get better. Thank you all of the open-hearted donors for thinking of us. The children, youth, and neighbors of La Encantada send you a big hug.

God bless you!

In Memory of Enrique Quique Valdez

 

On July 6, we lost a beloved member of our Building Dignity community. After several weeks battling COVID-19, music teacher and friend, Quique Valdez, passed away. Quique was loved not only by the kids whose lives he brightened with his love for music, but by the entire community of Villa El Salvador and Lima at large, where he was a prominent guitarist and leader in the folkloric community.

Quique sparked a love for music in countless children who took his classes in our community center. He had a magical ability to transform students through zampoña, guitar, and cajón, sharing his love of Peruvian music and culture and instilling the same passion in others. He will be dearly missed by all who were touched by his music and his presence, but we know that his spirit continues to live on in the hearts of the hundreds of children, teens, and families who had the honor to learn from him.

Below is a video of Quique performing "Valz de Villa," recorded and produced by Jenna DeLaurentis. We know that his love for and commitment to Villa El Salvador is shared by many. 

 

"The Waltz of Villa"

“Villa, when I was a child, you were poor, sad, and without electricity. And now all the people remark how your beautiful streets are filled with youth. In Villa I was born, in Villa I grew up, in Villa I studied, and in Villa I should die. On the day that I die and they bring me to be buried, I’ll leave my grave and run about Villa.” 

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Copyright © 2020 Building Dignity, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Building Dignity,1622 Hague Ave., St. Paul MN 55104, USA
Center for Development with Dignity / La Encantada, Grupo 2, Manzana J, Lote 13, Villa El Salvador, Lima, Peru 


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