La Casa Hogar, literally meaning the House Home in Spanish, is how everything started. How Philip met Vilma, how I ended up traveling with him to Peru for Christmas, and how we found ourselves stuck in the middle of Peru’s political and civil unrest. Back in 2009, on behalf of a charity in London, Philip was sent to Lima, Peru to help build a soup kitchen but when he got there he was instead sent to a remote village in the Apurimac region, 16 hours away and 3.5 km above sea-level. It was there that he met Vilma Ceron Salazar, who was in charge of the Casa Hogar project. Her goal was to establish a refuge so the children in remote regions could have an education. It was a profound experience for Philip to be isolated high in the Andes; so much so that he collected and published his experiences in a book, A Peruvian Diary (Amazon link). As of recently, the new local council have ejected Vilma from the project because a mining company can pay rent, whereas the children cannot. This contravenes and undermines the purpose of the Casa Hogar entirely. Vilma has been working on this project for the last 13 years to bring the Casa Hogar up to standard but unfortunately her time allowed as counselor has come to an end. Sadly, the new council have chosen money over morality which is not in the best interest of the community. (Image of Casa Hogar) We are working to rectify the situation and bring La Casa Hogar back to the children. In the meantime, we need funds to support a young woman with three young children, one is disabled, who have been made homeless by unscrupulous members of the local council. Your funds will go towards helping Vilma and her community. We have set up a PayPal direct to her sister, Graciela. The standard of living in Peru is much different from most. Anything will help, US $5.00 or £5.00 will go a long way. Thank you reading!
——— I met Philip at the end of 2018 flying over the Amazon from Iquitos to Lima, Peru. By happenstance, he previously had a seat change and we ended up next to each other talking about what brought us to Peru. He invited me to lunch and because I had a couple hours layover, the conversation continued and we went to lunch in Lima with his friend, Graciela, who was already waiting to pick him up. (Image of Lunch) As I'm writing this now, it's newly 2023 (literally Jan 1st) and I'm sitting at her dining table in Lima with her older sister, Vilma, and Philip - 4 years later. Vilma and Philip are going over the details of a letter about La Casa Hogar to Cecila, a phenomenal lawyer from Spain. (Image of Vilma + Philip) Vilma and her family have philosophically created La Casa Hogar within their family and have welcomed many - from pilgrims to international visitors including myself, into their homes. (Image of sanyaca) (Image of chocolatina) - every year Vilma and her family hold a chocolatina where they serve chocolate drinks, paneton, and give gifts to the children in their community. It was supposed to be held in La Casa Hogar but because of the current predicament, were forced to hold it elsewhere.