Engaging the Community of Nuevo Horizonte, Peru
Dozens of families have taken over the desert and built homes in Nuevo Horizonte, a newly formed town on the north coast of Peru.
Over the last decade and continuing today, families have arrived on these deserted lands in Peru to claim a space for a family home. Some come from the Andes Mountains or the Amazon jungle, seeking opportunities. Others flee a situation in which three or four families live in a single house in the city. These neighbourhoods and newly formed communities have no water, sewerage, medical posts or police facilities. Some of these towns are only now receiving street lights after five or six years.
Edmund Rice Mission established a presence in Nuevo Horizonte over two years ago. During that time, Br. Charles Fitzsimmons and Br. Sean Di Figlia have become members of the community. In these emerging neighborhoods, there are no sports or activities for children. Parents work long, hard hours for little pay at jobs that are a long distance away, often traveling to another city or working at sea for weeks at a time. Some families, uprooted from their traditional lives, find it hard to trust other newcomers. Edmund Rice Mission has started several programmes in their chapel to welcome the people and engage directly with the community. These Edmund Rice people provide academic support to over 30 children through four weekly sessions of tuition, aided by students from the Brothers´ Colegio Mundo Mejor (Better World High School) in nearby Chimbote. Dance classes and guitar lessons are also provided as part of this effort to welcome the people and supplement their children´s development.
With support from Edmund Rice Development, Nuevo Horizonte has provided a safe, inclusive environment where children can grow and thrive academically and culturally. The mission of this project reflects the new direction of Edmund Rice Mission: maintaining a compassionate presence and living in solidarity with the marginalised. This past year, Edmund Rice Latin America has established another project in the same area called Reaching for New Horizons. This project provides support to over 200 primary school boys and girls. The project improves the educational service of a primary school by providing psychological support, fine arts lessons, English as a second language, family training in good parenting skills and a nutrition programme.
Adapted from Edmundo Rice Latinamerica/LATAM