Peru faces high levels of income inequality and has more than a quarter of its population living in poverty, according to the World Bank. Poverty levels are significantly higher in rural areas but urban areas struggle most with inequality, most notably metropolitan Lima. Poverty in the country is made worse by a shortage of productive farmland and a lack of job skills among women entering the workforce, as well as a lack of adequate housing, nutrition and education.

More Missions In Peru

Provide technical & vocational training

Each year, more than 120 youth have access to technical skills training thanks to a Salesian training center that opened in Loreto among the Kandozi Indigenous community in San Fernando in the district of Andoas. The Yankuam Jintia Training Center for Intercultural Education was developed by the Don Bosco Foundation to meet the needs of poor youth living in the Peruvian Amazon.

One of the challenges facing Salesian missionaries in Peru is creating opportunities for youth after they graduate from secondary school but are unable because of finances to pursue further education and training. To address this, Salesian missionaries are providing more technical and vocational training so youth are able to learn a skill and have access to long-term stable work that allows them to provide for their families and give back to their communities.

The training center seeks to improve the living conditions of indigenous families of the Achuar, Kandozi, Meztizos and Quechua ethnic groups in the Amazon. Youth are trained to be mechanics for outboard engines, as well as carpentry, agriculture and animal husbandry. Upon completion of a program, they are able to contribute to the development of their communities and to create resources through the provision of services to third parties. Youth reside in the Salesian boarding school and attend the four-month training modules of the Intercultural Education Center.

In addition, Salesian missionaries in Peru have worked to improve the standards for technical education and opportunities for youth around the country, and in particular, at the Salesian-run SALESTEC Institute. Each year Salesian missionaries hold a large education, technical and business Congress.

The Congress is attended by various companies in Peru that are working in strategic alliance with the Salesian Institute. Participants are able to receive information in the areas of electrical energy, electronics, production mechanics, car and motorcycle mechanics, welding and more. Companies have the opportunity to meet highly-trained youth between 18 to 35 years old who are ready to put the technical skills they learned at the Salesian Institute to work in real world environments.

Rescue children facing adversity

Salesian missionaries at the CETPRO Santo Domingo Savio Technical Center in Lima provide training for young people with disabilities. They have also launched an awareness campaign to bring more attention to the abilities of those living with a disability in the country.  According to the National Council for the Integration of People with Disabilities, about 1.5 million Peruvians have some kind of disability. That means nearly 5% of the total population lives with some limitation in moving, seeing, feeling, understanding and communicating.

The CETPRO Center houses hundreds of young people and provides a family home for youth and an oratory that welcomes both boys and girls. The Center works in cooperation with the Don Bosco Foundation of Peru and the Share Campaign of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference to train youth with special educational needs. Through this campaign, several young people with sensory disabilities benefit and are being successfully trained in screen printing and tailoring laboratories.

In addition, in coordination with specialists from the Service of Support and Consultation for the Care of Special Educational Needs (SAANEE), a seminar was organized for all CETPRO students to raise their awareness of the great efforts that their disadvantaged peers put forth to gain an education and how they face and overcome to achieve their goals. All students have been encouraged to show respect, tolerance and a willingness to help their peers who have different skills and to collaborate with them.

Build orphanages & shelters for homeless youth

Salesian missionaries, through Red de Casas Don Bosco, serve hundreds of children and older youth, offering them a home, food, education, and spiritual and psychological support. Red de Casas Don Bosco includes 11 boarding homes in the cities of Ayacucho, Arequipa, Cusco, Huancayo and Lima (Breña and Rímac), and the Cusco Alto Andinas missions including Ampares, Calca and Quebrada Honda.

Children and adolescents are one of the most vulnerable segments of Peru’s population. This vulnerability requires special protection from the state, family and community. Salesian programs aim to help poor youth gain an education and have access to the basic needs they require. Youth engaged in Red de Casas Don Bosco programs are all minors who have lived in situations of social risk and were forced to survive in the streets, sleeping in parks and under bridges. They are children deprived of love and affection, and many are victims of violence, exploitation and abuse.

Red de Casas Don Bosco, with the support of the Don Bosco Foundation, promotes a fundraising campaign “Your hand supports a hope.” During the campaign, Red de Casas Don Bosco and the Don Bosco Foundation dedicated one day to local fundraising by carrying money boxes to various parts of the city and inviting people and local businesses to donate. All proceeds collected during the campaign were used to support the services offered to the children living in the homes of the Salesian network.

Respond to disasters & emergencies

Devastating flooding caused by extreme weather since the start of 2017 has caused landslides in cities across Peru. According to the Associated Press, more than 500,000 people have been affected with thousands left homeless after a series of storms struck the country in the last few weeks. At least 115,000 homes have been destroyed, roadways are impassable and 117 bridges are reportedly washed out.

Peru is highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and the effects of intense rains that can cause flooding and landslides in the country. In the city of Piura, the sewer drainage system has been completely destroyed as a result of the flooding. Weather like this, coupled with the destruction of the drainage system, can be a breeding ground for disease and health complications for its residents. Salesian missionaries living and working in Piura, one of the hardest hit areas, are already responding to those who need assistance and are seeking funding to launch a project aimed at providing preventative health information as well as materials and supplies.

Salesian missionaries working at schools and youth centers in the regions near Piura provided close to 900 families with prevention education about these diseases. The information includes the dissemination of key messages that promote basic hygiene practices and the adoption of healthy habits. This work also helped communities strengthen their capacities to adopt operational measures to safeguard against dengue, malaria, diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections and dermatological problems, among others. Salesian missionaries also provided food and other basic supplies to families in need.

Respond to refugee needs

Salesian missionaries in Lima have launched a new program, Casa Don Bosco, to assist the many migrants who are fleeing from Venezuela. BBC News reports that tens of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing their country because of chronic shortages of food and medicines. Since 2014, millions of citizens have left Venezuela given the country’s longstanding economic crisis. Surrounding countries are struggling to accommodate the influx of people needing support, shelter and assistance.

UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, has warned that the continent faces a refugee “crisis moment” similar to that seen in the Mediterranean in 2015, according to a BBC article. UNHCR is in the process of setting up a special team to coordinate a regional response.

Peru is already home to nearly 400,000 Venezuelan migrants, most of whom arrived in the past year. Salesian missionaries in Peru are working to set up accommodations and programs to help migrants integrate into their new communities.

Salesian missionaries have also utilized an unused wing of the Salesian College in Lima as a reception center for Venezuelan youth. The center current accommodates 52 young men aged 18 to 25 years old. Father José Valdivia, the provincial economer of Peru, is in charge of the center. After working a long day on accounting activities, he joins these young men who are all returning from working 10-12 hours of labor and are sitting down to dinner. Fr. Valdivia stays with them after their meal and encourages them, and counsels those who are having a difficult time.

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Salesian missionaries to sign an agreement to set up temporary migrant assistance offices at the Salesian Institute, which is located in the Breña neighborhood of Lima The Salesian Institute is expected to receive an average of 1,000 people per day.

Provide youth centers & safe activities

Salesian missionaries in Breña, a district within the capital city of Lima, facilitate a project each year known as Sol Bosco. This program provides educational lessons and a safe space for youth to enjoy time with their peers and develop skills and expertise in various disciplines. Youth can access skills training in courses such as guitar, cooking, martial arts, soccer, volleyball, basketball, handicrafts, and traditional and modern dance.

Youth from the Salesian parish of Mary Help of Christians kicked off the program in 2017 by going from house to house in Breña announcing that the program had started. As a result, more than 100 children are registered to participate. The workshops are offered by older youth that are part of the Salesian Youth Movement.

In addition, the Don Bosco Home for Troubled Youth, located in Calca, was able to improve the condition of its facilities thanks to Salesian Missions donors. Funding was used to renovate a dilapidated part of the home and included the addition of a storage area and the repair of a previously unsafe basketball court and recreation area. Sports and recreation are an important part of Salesian programs, providing youth a chance to connect with their peers, gain team building skills and have fun in a supportive environment.

The Don Bosco Home is part of the larger Red de Casas Don Bosco initiative which serves hundreds of children and older youth, offering them a home, food, education, and spiritual and psychological support. Red de Casas Don Bosco includes 11 boarding homes in the cities of Ayacucho, Arequipa, Cusco, Huancayo and Lima (Breña and Rímac) as well as the Cusco Alto Andinas missions including Ampares, Calca and Quebrada Honda.

Salesian missionaries with Don Bosco Home have also developed a new music workshop that will provide both a cultural and psychological benefit. This program will help youth keep their roots through the study of folk songs and also support youth’s psycho-physical well-being through music. The students will attend the course twice a week for two hours of lessons each session. Traditional pan flutes, triangles, wooden bass drums and modern musical keyboards will be utilized.

Deliver life-saving meals

Salesian missionaries in Breña, a district within the capital city of Lima, have a provincial house, Salesian College, Superior Institute and Technical Vocational Center, and a house for homeless youth. Missionaries also operate the Mary Help of Christian’s parish, which provides communal meals for the elderly and sick residents of Breña. Every day, from Monday to Friday, people come to enjoy the afternoon meal at the Salesian parish. For some it’s the only meal they have each day.

There are 18 different groups of women that prepare the meal each day. The groups take turns finding the food, often collecting donations door to door, and then preparing and serving the meal. Others come to talk and interact with those who have come to rely on the parish workers for their nutrition. For some volunteers, it’s a chance to give back to their community and to stay busy and connected. Fernando Soto used to accompany his wife, Esther Arce, from house to house to collect food. She has since passed away, but he continues his mission, with the task of running the dining room.

Meals provided to the sick and the elderly improve their health, mood and overall well-being. In addition, people are able to speak with Salesian staff and access other services as well as stay connected within their community.

More than 9,600 people in need received nutritional support thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Feed My Starving Children. A shipment of rice-meals was provided to the Don Bosco Foundation in 2022 and distributed throughout the year to 10 civic and religious programs serving people who are sick, the elderly, at-risk youth and other marginalized populations.

Improve health services

Salesian missionaries with the Don Bosco Foundation of Peru launched a free medical, surgical and dentistry clinic in the city of Piura, in the northern part of the country. The free medical and dental assistance began with the help of 14 medical and dental professionals who are part of ULYSSES, a humanitarian organization providing professional medical assistance.

The city of Piura was chosen because it ranked poorly for health conditions and access to medical and dental assistance. The area is the main producer and national exporter of organic bananas, mangoes, lemons, grapes and other products like coffee, but even still, more than 35 percent of the city’s residents live in poverty. The medical clinic was also made possible through support from the Regional Government of Piura, Diresa, the Naval Station of Paita, the City of Paita, the Terminal Port Euroandinos, the Stella Maris Institute of Lima, the Salesian Institute and the Food Bank.

Eighty surgeries were performed during the medical clinic and more than 100 people accessed free dental examinations. Dentists also provided free oral health education to more than 1,000 school children in the region. During the presentations, students received free toothbrushes and toothpaste. Since 2005, Salesian missionaries have been offering similar medical clinics in Peru to improve the quality of life for people.

Offering these free medical and dental clinics is nothing new to Salesian programs. Salesian missionaries offer more than 200 medical clinics and hospitals, mostly in rural areas, that handle a wide range of medical care needs.

Improve infrastructure

Salesian missionaries in Peru run an oratory for more than 300 young children, older youth and mothers from the city of Cusco, a city in the Peruvian Andes, and the surrounding area.

Home to a wealth of history, stunning architecture and Machu Picchu (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), Cusco and the surrounding area is a popular tourist destination. Close to 1.3 million people reside there locally with almost 25 percent of its population under the age of 15. Salesian missionaries are very active in the region through schools, missions, shelters, a nursing home and oratories. A newly established oratory is allowing the missionaries to meet the needs of more youth and families in need.

This region of Peru is also home to a successful Salesian agriculture program. Although the area is difficult to access, coffee and cocoa are cultivated in the Yanatile valley and the nearby basin of the river Lacco. The Salesian mission in Quebrada Honda is made up of the parish of Mary Help of Christians and the Experimental School for Agriculture and Livestock which educates more than 160 students, nearly half of whom board at the school.

The goal of the School is to provide young farmers with a basic education as well as advanced studies in the latest agricultural practices and modern technologies while moving towards efficiency in farming by exploring and testing new techniques in agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and animal husbandry. The School provides both classroom education and hands-on agriculture and livestock training on a working farm on the school campus. Salesian missionaries at the School hope the agriculture degree program will entice more local youth to choose agriculture as their long-term livelihood.

The Salesian Center Monte Salvado in Cusco, a city located in the Peruvian Andes, also has an agriculture school that offers education to more than 200 children of local farmers who live in isolation. They bring their children to attend the only secondary school in the area. Half of the students live in the two boarding houses attached to the school.

In addition, Salesian chapels in Peru received solar panels to help with electricity thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions. Solar panels were provided to Santa María de Cahuapanas, Barranquita, Chopiloma and one other chapel. Given the size of the Santa María chapel, two solar panels were installed. The chapel is also undergoing other renovations including upgrading the roof and adding solar lighting. The work is being done in coordination with the local Catholic community.

Deliver essential equipment & supplies

Nearly 1,400 people benefited from a donation from ASAP – Tools for Empowerment thanks to a partnership with Salesian Missions. Don Bosco Foundation received the donation and distributed it to seven Salesian organizations including Bosconia Technical Education Center, Salesians in Piura, Salesian Polytechnic Education Center and Salesians in Monte Salvado, among others.

The donated tools and equipment have been used mostly by students in technical training centers. Students have access to them during the practical part of their training in courses focused on carpentry, automotive mechanics, electricity, industrial pattern making (textiles), metalworking and agriculture. The tools are also used for maintenance and gardening, and in the warehouse. Students who have completed their training have also benefited from basic tool kits including hammers, pliers, screwdrivers and saws. Young Venezuelan migrants housed in the Magdalena Shelter benefited from baseball equipment for their recreational activities.


From Peru

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From Peru

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: Salesian Missions highlights educational and social programs for youth

Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted 75 years ago. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Dec. 10, 2023) Top of Form Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and the internati

PERU: 3 Salesian oratories build roofs thanks to donor funding

Each oratory serves more than 100 children. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 31, 2023) Three Salesian oratories (youth centers) in Piura, Peru, are making infrastructure upgrades thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. deve

INT’L DAY OF CHARITY: Salesian Missions highlights programs helping youth find path out of poverty

Along with providing education, Salesian missionaries work to meet basic needs of youth and their families. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept 5, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitar

WORLD DAY AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS: Salesian programs help prevent trafficking, support victims

2023 theme is ‘Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind.’ NEW ROCHELLE, NY (July 30, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and countries

WORLD YOUTH SKILLS DAY: Salesian Missions highlights life-changing training for poor youth

Salesians offer more than 1,000 vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools around the globe. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (July 15, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins human

Donated Tools Build Hope for Migrant Youth

Growing up in Venezuela hadn’t been easy for young Francis—and it’s no wonder. Pummeled by skyrocketing inflation and the country’s relentless economic crisis, he and his family struggled just to eat most days. Getting an

PERU: Donation provides youth with tools for studies

Nearly 1,400 benefit through partnership between ASAP – Tools for Empowerment and Salesian Missions. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 16, 2023) Nearly 1,400 people in Peru benefited from a donation from ASAP – Tools for Empowerment thank

GLOBAL: Salesian Missions launches annual ‘Loaves and Fishes’ fundraiser to support critical aid shipments

For every dollar donated, Salesian Missions is able to ship $14 worth of critical goods. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 8, 2023) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, recently launched its annual “Loa

PERU: More than 9,600 people receive nutritional support with rice-meal shipment

Meals reach people who are sick and elderly, at-risk youth, and other marginalized populations. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 27, 2023) More than 9,600 vulnerable people in Peru received nutritional support thanks to a partnership betwee

PERU: Salesian chapels receive solar panels

Project made possible through donor funding from Salesian Missions. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Jan. 23, 2023) Salesian chapels in Peru received solar panels to help with electricity thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S.

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Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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