Wow, what an amazing month! What can I say but except that I am surrounded by wonderful friends, colleagues and an even more amazing Zumba community that helped raise money to give to Hogar San Pedro, an organization located in Chosica, Peru who are dedicated in helping children and adults of all ages with special needs and who have been abandoned by their caretakers. All the residents and staff members were so happy and thankful for the good works we all participated in.
First and foremost, the event was a big success! Special thanks to Kathy Fontaine who opened up her studio for us to dance in and burn up a sweat. All the instructors (Alisa, Sandra, Janina, Gabriela, Aryan, Javier and Tamara) did an amazing job and showcased all their different styles and genres that kept the party going for 2 hours. I seriously could not have done it without this team. And a very special thanks to all the participants who donated and made my birthday celebration an event to remember.
Now for Hogar San Pedro. Located in Chosica, Peru which turned out to be a 2.5 hour drive from Lima, Peru. My cousin Tito (who is more like my brother) and his wife, Susana, along with my niece, Xiomara, and 6 month old nephew, Luigi, drove us in the heat and traffic to our final destination. Once we arrived, we were greeted by the staff members who have dedicated over 30 years of their lives in helping and taking care of its residents.
After a delicious lunch (Spaghetti & Meat Sauce along with Papa a la Huancaina, a Peruvian staple), the staff introduced us to all the residents. I honestly thought I would be crying the whole time, but every face I met smiled no matter what condition they suffered. I realized my husband and I were there to make them smile, to love them and give them hugs. With hardly no family to visit them, the fact that visitors from the United States came to visit was exciting and something for them to look forward to. They all have a special place in my heart now and think about all of them since my return home.
Thank you again to all who made this long-time dream of mine happen. I do plan on continuing to hold events and raise money for this organization and hopefully visit again. With about 20 adults and 9 children, this organization will need help to continue providing for the rest of their lives. Let’s see what the future has in store ❤️