Written by the Very Rev. Fidel Alvarado, O.S.A., Regional Vicar of the Augustinian Missions in Northern Peru
The Saint Rita Cafeteria, a project of the Augustinian Vicariate of San Juan de Sahagún in Northern Peru, welcomes young students from across the rural areas of Pacaipampa, a small mission town in the Andes Mountains. These students attending Jorge Basadre Middle School find it difficult to return home for lunch because of the distance for many of them averages five hours of walking. Additionally, the Peruvian government recently implemented the requirement that the students attending Jorge Basadre must study a full school day until 5:00pm with one hour for lunch. This has been one of the main reasons for an increase in students applying to be included in the Augustinians' "Saint Rita Cafeteria" lunch program.
The Augustinian Community in Pacaipampa, Peru, has reviewed this increased need, but it comes with many additional implications and increased needs for the cafeteria. And so, we are asking our kind-hearted supporters to help us expand this cafeteria program, understanding that it helps us serve the poorest people in the rural areas of the Andes Mountains, where we both spread the Word of God and try daily to live out acts of mercy.
Here's what Saint Rita Cafeteria needs:
- We only have three tables with seating for eight students each and two tables with capacity for four students each. Therefore, we're missing tables for 25 more students.
- We have no chairs and benches and have to use some of the church pews instead.
- We do not have a freezer to store meat or vegetables , which forces us to instead buy more frequently at higher prices.
- The dining hall does not have its own designated facility, but instead uses various rooms in the parish. This makes it difficult because our parish often has large requests for the local community to meet and gather for other purposes.
- Our cafeteria is missing some other various kitchenware: dishes, cutlery, pots, etc.
You can sponsor this lunch program for the young children in Peru!
This past year, the program supported 57 children. Without the cafeteria program, these children would not otherwise have had the opportunity to attend school.
- Sponsor the program for one day with a donation of $48
- Sponsor the program for one month (22 school days) with a donation of $1,056. Also, donors that contribute or pledge $1,000 or more to the Augustinian Annual Fund are enrolled in the One Mind, One Heart Society.