Related GLA Programs: Peru: Children of the Andes™

Grant Recipient: Helping Hands Cusco

Helping Hands Cusco was founded in 2005 by Mario Diaz and his wife Rosa Guitierrez. Mario, who is a grammar and literature teacher of both English and Spanish, grew up in an extremely poor family in Cusco, Peru. Despite the sad circumstances that shaped most of his childhood, Mario noticed a shift in his life when his father completed his advanced degree. Because his father had to work full time to support his large family, it took Mario’s dad 12 years to graduate from college.

However, he succeeded and became first professional in the Diaz family, thereby providing the means for Mario and his siblings to pursue an education. Mario saw first hand how education can provide opportunities and end the cycle of poverty, thus motivating him to start Helping Hands with the main goal of providing a healthy school climate, where underprivileged children can have qualitative education but also where they can learn about values, group work and individual development.