All in the Family (part 2)
Our beneficiary family: the Ormachea-Hermozas. There are twelve who live on the site and dozens of others who will benefit from the home we are building.
The patriarchs, Juana and Valerio got married and set out on a life together.
Valerio was a long-distance truck driver and spent a lot of time away from home. As his young family grew, he eventually saved enough money to build an adobe home (mud bricks) on the banks of the Urubamba river in the poor but happy community of Paca Vilconota on the east end of the town of Urubamba in the Sacred Valley.
As some their daughters married and had kids of their own, and one of their sons married a woman who was visually impaired and, unfortunately, their kids inherited the genetic defect.
granddaughter angela inherited a visual impairment
Valerio got older, which made it hard for him get jobs driving long distances.
valerio helping with the construction
He struggled to find other work, but still supported the clan. In 2010, the ultimate tragedy struck: the Urubamba River turned into a flooding, ragging torrent that decimated their small community.
All the houses that were made of adobe were destroyed—melted and washed away—including Valerio and Juana’s. The family of twelve was without a home. No international organizations rushed in to help (one NGO director told me it was too hard to get materials “up there”), although US-AID donated some tarps. There was no way the family would ever be able to rebuild, so Valerio and his sons salvaged what materials they could from their ruined home, and other detritus that the river left behind, and built some makeshift sheds and tents.
When I visited in 2012 that was still how they were living.
after we cleared the site of the tents and shacks
In the places MicroAid works, there is no FEMA, no Red Cross, no Habitat for Humanity, no insurance, no other safety nets—no hope. For Valerio and Juana, MicroAid was the answer to their prayers.
microaid house for the ormachea-hermozas almost done
I am happy we found this family, out of the thousands that needed help. They are honest and hardworking and have had more than their share of hardships. MicroAid, supported by our wonderful donors, has returned Juana and Valerio’s family to some comfort, dignity, security, and a relief from the constant stress of living in squalor.