Stage 1 to Build Our School
The Pucusana Project is working to alleviate poverty in Pucusana Peru by providing quality educational opportunities, creating programs to improve social issues and family dynamics, enabling financial stability through business training and cultivating a thriving Christian community through discipleship, worship and church planting.
The Pucusana Project is an American nonprofit working to alleviate poverty in Pucusana Peru.
We want to develop this small fishing village into a thriving community by integrating with the local people. We do not believe in material or financial handouts. Instead, we want to help those living in the human settlements take steps out of poverty by encouraging, strengthening, and enabling the God given skills and talents they already have.
How do you alleviate poverty for a whole community? You increase the economic state of the entire city. How do you do that? By educating the poor and enabling successful occupations. Through quality education and new business growth, the entire community can access positive economic change. This is not an easy task and it will take decades of hard work, but we are committed to ending the generational cycles that plague this beautiful city.
Pre-pandemic, The Pucusana Project had many different projects in place to help alleviate poverty in Pucusana. All of our projects are rooted in education and Christian beliefs. We had a school, held an after-school tutoring and study hall program, had evening cooking classes and business trainings for single mothers and provided positive community events.
Currently, post-pandemic, we are working on relaunching similar projects. We sponsor reinforcement classes for children to catch up on the two years of education they lost during lockdown. Specifically offering assistance in math, science and reading comprehension. We also have a Mobile Library van that travels to different impoverished neighborhoods once a week to host "read along time" for kids.
And most importantly, we are diligently working toward building a massive private Christian school facility and hope to launch the first evangelical Christian Church in Pucusana in the near future.
About the City
Pucusana is a small fishing village just two hours outside Lima city. It is the poorest city on the coast of Peru. The District of Pucusana was officially created on the 21st of January 1943 and in 1950, Pucusana became part of Lima City. Pucusana is connected to Lima through the South Pan American Highway and is known for its beautiful beaches. It is a city with two worlds. Multi-million dollar houses are placed all around the island and beaches for the rich to enjoy during the summer, while the rest of the city lives in extreme poverty on the other side of the road.
Employment in Pucusana is limited to two options. Tourism, which brings in a lot of money for the local restaurants, shops and markets, but is limited to summertime, and the fishing industry. The average fisherman dropped out of school before the age of 15 and will work in this occupation their entire life. The industry is very competitive, corporately corrupt, and dangerous. Many men in Pucusana are missing fingers, hands, or entire limbs; they do not receive any compensation and are left jobless. Due to the unhealthy atmosphere and financial stress of the fishing industry, many of these men turn to alcohol, drugs, physical violence, and/or abandoning their families.
Education in Pucusana is extremely inadequate. Out of the fear of losing their jobs, teachers repeatedly advance students who are failing, classrooms are crowded, and children receive outdated and worn-out materials to learn from. The drop-out rate is high, and the college acceptance rate is 2%. The average adult in Pucusana has a literacy level equivalent to a US 4th grader. Wanting better for their children, parents struggle to afford private schools. Some private schools offer a better quality of education, but most of them are equally corrupt and/or are being controlled by the Catholic Church.
Religion in Peru is very problematic. Although individuals are free to practice any faith, the Catholic Church is extremely powerful and influential. With centuries of oppression and ongoing links to government corruption, most people want nothing to do with this hypocritical faith. Pucusana is made up mostly of Agnostic and Atheist individuals, especially in younger communities. Outside of imposing legalistic beliefs and rituals on the community, the Catholic Church has done practically nothing to help with the devastating poverty in Pucusana.
Family dynamics in Pucusana are all over the place. The Catholic Church makes divorce very difficult. It takes years to finalize and requires lots of money. So, most people avoid marriage all together and instead cohabitate and have families. The problem with this, is that most men end up abandoning their families and women have very few legal grounds to force men to take financial responsibility for their children. Which is why the majority of people living in the slums are single mothers with their children. From a census taken in 2015, over half the population of women in Peru will have one or two children by the time they are 20. Fatherless homes are a huge reason behind the domestic abuse, crime and toxic masculinity that Peru faces today.
For more information about Pucusana and why our nonprofit is working there,
please visit our About, Projects and News&Blog pages.