A team of 13 Americans travelled to San Juan de Lurigancho on June 1st for a life-changing week. This team was generous beyond belief: they bought 4 houses, sponsored 2 new students, and brought tons of supplies including vitamins, clothing, shoes & gifts for children. Their love, kindness and grace blew me away every day.
Here is a recap of our trip with pictures:
Day 1: We started today at the Star Kids in Juan Pablo. From 12-4 we hosted our first Campeonato, which is a big event with 12 teams competing in soccer, delicious food made by Mama Charo, traditional Peruvian dances, a live DJ and medals for the winners. Laura made us an amazing dinner and we finished the day with highs (so many) and lows. A big thank you to all our volunteers who came out today and to our leadership team who worked so hard to make Campeonato 2018 a big success!
Day 2: We had a small field trip to the flower market to buy 90 plants for “Beautiful San Juan de Lurigancho.” Our volunteers built our Star Kids Community center in Juan Pablo, AND a new home for Elizabeth and her children. Dinner at Pats Place, card games and talking until late in the night.
Day 3: #dreamteamperu had an amazing day. It started with Lisa giving a gardening workshop in the community. We bought 90 plants, which they wanted her to personally pass out, which she did along with a kiss. We picked up tons of trash which is part of the #beautifulsanjuandelurigancho program. We painted, did electric in our new local, finished Elizabeth’s home and dedicated 3 houses, which was a highlight. We hosted a “dress for success” workshop at our study center and finished the night with great conversation and sharing.
Day 4: Today our team visited the Isaac Newton school in the Paradise community. We really enjoyed our time with the students and the thousands of hugs we got!! Make a Miracle announced we will be offering 4 scholarships for this years senior class. Many of the seniors stood up & spoke of their gratitude. We had a wonderful ceviche lunch with Pastor Luis, then held 3 interviews in which we approved 3 new students for scholarships. We had a wonderful dinner at Bossa-nova and shared our highs and lows (and Picarones for dessert!) with everyone at Rachel’s apartment.
Day 5: Our team headed back to Juan Pablo to put the finishing touches on Elizabeth’s house, finish planting near our community center, and help with the third floor of the Cácares home. We had not only a great lunch at Mama Charo’s, but also Panchamanca for dinner. We had a tearfully wonderful house dedication to cap off an amazing day.
Day 6: We had a great day planting at New Jerusalem. It was touching to see Lindsay and Justin Albano see the community center dedicated to their grandfather who passed away 6 months ago. We finished Elizabeth’s house, had a movie day with the kids at Pat’s Place and shared an amazing dinner with our college scholarship students.
Day 7: The team said goodbye to everyone at Juan Pablo, and headed for Miraflores for a day of rest. We hosted 40 people at our Miracle Dinner, which included our scholarship students. We were excited to surprise Jhonathan with his Sponsor, Diana. They got to spend quality time together at the dinner getting to know each other. He and his sisters surprised me with a live bunny as a gift! He is the sweetest white baby bunny (Mr. Gringo) and Nancy will be caring for him at Pat’s Place for me. Seriously the best gift ever!
Day 8: We watched Peru in a World Cup match against Sweden. We all wore our red and white jerseys from Mama Charo, then shopped in the markets at Miraflores and enjoyed a good dinner before the team headed to the airport. I think everyone would agree that this was an impactful and incredible experience!