Letter from Sean Delaney
I would like to use this first newsletter (a little delayed, I know) as an opportunity to share with you all a little bit more about what working with Paz y Esperanza (Peace and Hope) in San Juan de Lurigancho, Lima is all about; and more specifically, what projects I am working with directly.
Right now I am technically at the disposal of the legal team (Milton, Luis, and Betty) but when you aren’t a lawyer there is only so much you can do in that area. Paperwork, filing, watching kids while their parents meet with the lawyers, etc. seem to be my more frequent assignments. The trip to Huancavelica in October has been by far my favorite assignment. That trip had two main purposes – one, prepare and aide with testimonies of remaining family members of the Santa Barbara case and two, retrace the steps of the kidnapped group out to the mine where they were killed and photographically document the entire thing. Needless to say that trip up to the mine was not only breathtaking (literally in the middle of nowhere in the Andes) but also deeply moving. In addition, our steadfast team of lawyers work heavily in cases of sexual and familial abuse in the SJL area (again pretty disturbing cases), it is hard work but when we are able to help the 14 year old girl who is pregnant (checkups, therapy, clothes for the baby, etc.) and put her abuser behind bars it is a good day.
The other project that I am pretty heavily involved in is titled the “Holanda” project. Lead by the director Gloria and the pseudo sub-director Misael, this project consists of a lot of different goals and themes but in short it is about the protection and education of children in regards to safe internet practices, what a safe and “normal” family looks like (ideally one without violence), how to reach out to authorities, saying no to drug and alcohol abuse…the list goes on but that should give you a general idea. We also hold large events for parents lead by our in house psychologist Techi and/or the legal team, discussing the legal process and access to justice. The people of PyE in SJL are amazing and completely committed to the work we are doing, they are a pleasure to work with and I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved.
Oh, and its Christmas time! Now admittedly to this native Ohioan the 85 degree weather and bright, sunny days does not make me feel in the holiday season but like it or not its here. The Metro (grocery chain) is filled to the brim with all the trimmings and depending on where you are in Lima you can even catch some decent Christmas light decorations. I knew this was probably going to be the toughest time away from home and so far this has rung true but I have some exciting travel plans and I am hopeful that they will serve as a slight distraction from what I am missing back home.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a health and happiness filled New Year from Peru!
Grace and peace. God Bless.
Sean H. Delaney