We are located in the San Jerónimo district of Cusco, Peru. This neighborhood is situated half an hour from the city’s historic center. San Jerónimo is a community populated by migrants who were originally settled in the mountains. These families came to San Jerónimo in the hope for a better future, however their reality in the city remains difficult.
The quality of life for the majority of these families is very hard due to high poverty rates and the harshness of the mountain climate. The families of San Jerónimo suffer from low incomes and inequality, which prevents them from living a ‘normal’ life. The families live in precarious and primitive conditions, often without running water or a bathroom, and must use firewood to prepare their food. The majority of the families suffer from alcohol related problems and aggressive behavior is common place. The parents’ level of education is extremely basic, often only finishing primary school, and in some cases they are illiterate. Often, the parents do not speak Spanish; they only know the native language of the mountains, Quechua.
Many times, the older children are required to help/work at home, in the fields, or at the market. Meanwhile, the younger children are often home alone without supervision or support from their parents. Their education is not seen as a priority and, as a consequence, families can only access the free education offered by the state. Unfortunately, these state run schools only offer low quality education. Due to their limited knowledge, parents are often unable to help their children with schoolwork. In other cases, parents refuse to send their children to school because they require their assistance at home or in the workplace. The children often are subject to a poor diet which leads to malnutrition and further health problems. This results in their further inability to concentrate while at school.