Our mission is to bring hope and lasting change to San Juan de Lurigancho, Peru.
We work with individuals and communities to transform lives through
education, scholarships, housing and community projects.
Meet THe CANOUSES
Carolyn and Jack Canouse love travel and adventure, but no place on earth has stolen their hearts like
San Juan de Lurigancho, Lima, Peru. It started as a Spring Break trip with their daughters, who were given the choice of mission work in Peru or Disney World. It was no choice for the girls who had previously been and wanted to share it with their dad. Rachel recalls "The first morning mom opened the door to the apartment (at Pat's Place shelter for women and children) and 5 year old Cielo peeked in. She saw Jack and ran into his arms. He looked at me and smiled and said 'Oh, I think I'm going to like it here.'"
As their relationships with the Peruvian people grew, they became Mama Carolyn & Papa Jack. They are "adoptive" parents to many who don't have a mom or dad, and "second" parents to the others. Staying in touch through WhatsApp, they message the college scholarship students on a daily basis and are there for them when they are struggling or just need a mom or dad figure to talk to.
The Canouses identified a niche where they could make a difference and bring lasting change to an area where the average family income is only $192 per month. In a country where there is no need-based financial aid for college, Make a Miracle gives full scholarships to young people who demonstrate motivation, potential and the desire to stay in their community to make it better. They form "Team Miracle," a group of Peruvians who spend their weekends building homes, running our Star Kids Program and helping others in any way they can.
Make a Miracle was founded in 2015 and has been growing ever since only thanks to supporters willing to be a part of this Peruvian community's transformation through
education, housing, and community outreach.
Rachel Canouse always had a heart for helping others. On a team trip to Swaziland at the young age of 12 she absolutely fell in love with mission work. The next year she took her first trip to San Juan de Lurigancho, joined by her mom and sisters Casey and Elise. She immediately felt at home...she loved the smell...she loved the food...she loved the people. She announced, "This is where I want to get married!"
Throughout high school and college she returned many times and her draw to Peru strengthened. During her junior year at Kennesaw State University Rachel decided (mid-semester) she wanted to go down for 3 months.
Rachel lived there for 5 years and was able to finish her bachelor's degree online, all while working with Make a Miracle. She hosted countless team trips from the states, seemingly every time during midterms or finals. She would work all day, then study late into the night. Her dedication was and still is incredible.
Rachel's time in San Juan de Lurigancho enabled Make a Miracle to grow bigger than than ever imagined. Rachel married a Peruvian in 2022 and they are now living in Alpharetta, Georgia with their two Peruvian pups.
There is a lot of sacrifice and heartbreak that can come at times working in the field we do, but Giovanna Caceres never looks at it that way. She finds joy in her job every day and is never satisfied with just doing what is required of her and always wants to go the extra mile. Her passion for her job and the mission of Make a Miracle as a whole has only intensified over the past four years as she has moved up from being in an assistant-type role, to being our Director of Operations.
Back in March of 2020 Peru went into one of the strictest lockdowns in the world for 107 days, only allowing one person per family to leave the house to buy groceries or medicine. The majority of Peru was told that they could not work, they would not get government aid, but somehow they would still need to provide food for their family. During this time, thousands and thousands of people were being arrested for breaking the rules of quarantine, but Giovanna, with the help of some of her siblings, made it her mission to bring food to the hungry families up in the hills. Thanks to Giovanna, we were able to provide over 200,000 meals during the lockdown to the often-forgotten families living up in the hills of San Juan de Lurigancho.
There are countless stories about Giovanna ‘saving the day’ because that’s just who she is and what she dedicates herself to doing, no matter what the sacrifice or consequences, never asking for anything in return. She is truly a prime example of what it means to be an every day superhero.