Desperate family persists through problems, pandemic to get new home in La Florida, Peru
Yuddy and Wilfredo Portillo left the crowded streets and expensive rents of Lima, Peru with their two sons — 4-year-old Bryan and baby Bastian — for the community of La Florida, where they had a little piece of land and a big dream: to have a simple, decent place to live. With more than 100 Fuller Center homes in La Florida, they knew it was place where that dream could come true.
They built a one-room hut in which Yuddy stayed with the boys while Wilfredo went back to Lima for work.
“It was very difficult with the cold and the rainwater that passed the roof,” Yuddy said. “We had no electricity, but at least it was ours. Many nights I cried with the helplessness of not having something better. I dreamed that one day I would have a little house.”
One night, though, thieves struck the tiny hut and took all of their belongings. They were forced to move in with Yuddy’s parents, but the crowded situation and lack of privacy made everyone miserable.
Fortunately, they were soon approved to become Fuller Center homeowner partners and construction began earlier this year.
“The construction started quite quickly,” Yuddy recalled. “In a few days we were digging the trenches for the foundations. Volunteers came from abroad. Never before have we met people like them so nice and also good at working.”
Then the pandemic struck — and Peru was among the hardest hit. Not only did the pandemic put a halt to Fuller Center Global Builders volunteer teams who do so much work in La Florida, but it hindered even local movement and commerce. Construction slowed to a crawl.
Fortunately, Zenon Colque and his team at The Fuller Center for Housing of Peru, pressed on. Through obstacles, quarantines and government restrictions, they kept working. Determined to finish by the end of the year, they got the family into their simple, decent home in time for Christmas and the New Year.
The project could not have been completed, however, without the continued generosity of Fuller Center supporters whose gifts allow partners to continue building even as the pandemic has impacted their use of volunteers. If you would like to keep these success stories going in 2021, you can give at the link below:
Lima-based artist Millard Llanque (who was named after the late Millard Fuller) created this video to highlight the work of The Fuller Center in La Florida: