Peruvian friends

Peruvian friends

By Chris Johnson
Director of communications

I’m glad to see that Peru has been added as the hub for the international component of the 2012 Millard Fuller Legacy Build during the week of Sept. 2-7. The following week, volunteers will converge on Henry County, Ga., just a couple hours up the road from our headquarters.

During the 2011 Legacy Build in Minden, La., I got to share a cabin with Zenon Colque, the ambitious and dedicated leader of our covenant partner in La Florida, Peru. He made no secret of his desire to be a host for this event.

“To have the Legacy Build in Peru is our dream, because we can move not just visitors from the U.S. and other countries, but from Peru,” Zenon told my colleague Leah Gernetzke for a story last month. “That’s what we need, that’s what we have to teach them – to help others. I’m sure that we can make it happen.”

I’m glad Zenon will get his wish.

Another Peruvian I met in Minden was Ana Tarazona. Unlike Zenon who speaks English well, Ana knows very little of the language beyond “hello” and “thank you.” But her amazing story translated into any language.

Barely able to survive in a rented room with her three young children, she took a leap of faith and boarded a bus for a nine-hour journey to La Florida when she heard about The Fuller Center’s work there. Her leap of faith paid off. She is now raising her family in a safe home and has become a leader of the town. She’s paying it forward by having traveled to Minden to work, and I have no doubt we’ll be seeing Ana hard at work again in September in Peru.

One more Peruvian face we’ll likely see is one you’re probably quite familiar with – Ana’s daughter Zuinmy. Zuinmy is the cute little girl with the blue paint on her hands in the photo that graces our alternative giving Christmas card. (Click here to see it and put it to use!) We’ve used that picture more than once around here, so we may have to retire that cute image after this Christmas. In the meantime, we’ll just have to stockpile more images of cute Fuller Center homeowner kids. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of those!

To learn more about our work in Peru, click here.

Chris Johnson
This post was written by
Chris Johnson is the Director of Communications for The Fuller Center for Housing, a multi-award-winning columnist for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer and author of 4 books.

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