Just 22 kms south east of Cusco, Azul Wasi sits on several acres of converted swamp land in the district of Oropesa, Peru. This home is founded by Alcides Jordan, a retired police officer. Azul means blue in Spanish and Wasi means house in Quechua, the native tongue of the Andean people. A few years ago, after rescuing one of the boys off the street, Alcides had the boy draw a picture of what his dream home would look like. The boy drew a blue house from dreams he had at night while living on the street. That house is now a reality.
Home to 15 boys and girls, this home has a lot of room to grow. In 2012 we built new bathrooms. The photo below left shows a few of the boys with their new shoes. Each year we buy them shoes for Christmas.
These boys are wards of the state, but Alcides serves as guardian ad litem. In some cases they have no memory of their parents or home. We let them select a birthday, and most choose December 25, saying they want to share their birthday with the Christchild. Others choose July 28, Peruvian Independence Day. All the children attend school and do their chores. Tutors volunteer their time from European countries to help the children with their studies. A few of the children are just learning to read and write. Others are excelling.
The boys have a good work ethic and we farm some of the area around the home. We have room for more dormitories, and since there is a surplus of street children in the city, we won’t have trouble filling them up.
Here is a list of the current children:
7 years old. He lost his mother, his father is somewhere in the jungle. The father abandoned Andys with an aunt when he was 2 years old. The boy was moved from house to house and abused. Due to his trauma he could not speak at first. Now he stutters and suffers from anxiety.
Carmen, Ana, Dany, and Wilmer. They are 8, 14, 10, and 15, respectively. These four children were found in the streets begging and sleeping in the street six years ago with their mother. They are from the Chumbivilcas province, eight hours by car and another 7 hours by horse. Their father died of an incurable illness and the mother is very poor. When we found them they had no money or clothes. Azul Wasi took the children in and they have recovered. They are responsible and studious and have the best grades in their school.
These three brothers are from the Pataqueña community. Their father died and the mother abandoned the children to the community. Thanks to the village authorities, they were brought to Azul Wasi and each child has his story.
- Alfredo. Eight years old and never learned to read. He could not speak Spanish, only Quechua. He suffered a severe burn of boiling water over his body. He was a shepherd to the family’s sheep.
- Nilo. Ten years old. He and his brother Yuliño witness the death of their father at a young age and felt helpless because their were no doctors in their community. He arrived at the home hating women because he only saw his father beat women and repeat that their only worth was to hit them. He has since changed during his stay at Azul Wasi, and now believes women are important in life, learning that a woman gave birth to him. His education level is retarded, especially in mathematics. He is now learning to read.
- Yuliño. Now 12 years old, at a young age he became the man of the house when his father died and mother abandoned them. He is advancing in his education.
Redy is 14. His mother died when he was 2 years old and his father abandoned him. Redy was bitten by an insect in the jungle and was hospitalized. As a result of the bite, he has lost sight in his left eye (completely blind in left eye). He is in first grade now, learning to read and write.
Raul is 15. He lived in the street for a long time where he suffered a great deal of violence. The police brought him to Azul Wasi. According to his memory, his mother died and his father is alive but he doesn’t know where. Raul is learning to read and write.
Ivan is 16. He was abandoned by his father and never knew his mother. He lived for a time with a grandmother but she was too poor to raise him. He is from Pisaq in the Sacred Valley. He is a junior in high school.
Dante is 16. He lived in the street for some time. His father was an alcoholic and his mother too poor to feed him and abandoned him. He is doing well at Azul Wasi and is student body president at his school. He is among the first in his class academically.
Hernan is 16 and a junior in high school. His mother died and his father left the home and never returned, abandoning Hernan. He has lived in Azul Wasi more than 5 years. He only spoke Quechua and could not read or write, but now speaks Spanish well. He is the “School Police” for his high school.
Carlos is 20 years old. He was abandoned by his parents when he was 6 years old. He lived in different places, including the street, but has made Azul Wasi his home. He has no family he knows of. His dream is to be a professional soccer player. He graduated from high school and helps out at the home as a guidance counselor for street children. Carlos is also a character mentioned in Richard Paul Evans’ New York Times bestselling book The Sunflower.
Bautista is 21 years old. He is the oldest one at the home. He has no parents and does not like it when people ask if he has a family. He thinks a great deal about his future. He came to Azul Wasi 6 years ago from living in the street.