January 31, 2011

service in Lurín

on the tightrope

Our service this week was at Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II, an orphanage south of Lima that is home to 64 children. A mission of the Catholic Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Casa Hogar receives all its funding from U.S. donors and follows the Boys Town Model, which has five main elements: teaching children and families life-changing skills; helping children and families build healthy relationships; empowering children and families to make good decisions; caring for children in a family-style environment; and supporting children and families in religious practices and values. Casa Hogar is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Staff members from Casa Hogar also do medical mission work in the community, including an eye clinic every two years where they provide free eye exams and glasses.

We spent part of the day hearing about the organization from the volunteer coordinator, who also gave us a tour of the facilities. In the afternoon we enjoyed some time with the children, including teaching them the singing game “Down by the banks of the hanky panky,” walking on the tightrope, and playing soccer.

We also took a tour of the traditional market in Lurín, a five-minute walk from Casa Hogar, where we enjoyed the sights and sounds (and some of the smells). And we finished out the day with the kids at the Circuito Mágico del Agua, one of Lima’s most surprising and pleasant attractions–two connected parks with a total of 13 fountains. We were there for the evening show at the Fantasía fountain–a spectacle of light, water, lasers, and music.

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