Ayacucho

+ General Information
+ History of Paz y Esperanza
+ Current Work
+ Volunteer Opportunities
+ Testimonies

General Information

Population: 151,019

Altitude: 2761 m (9060 ft.) above sea level

Average temperature: 23˚C (73˚F)

Ayacucho is located in the south-central Andes Mountains of Peru.  The city is known for its 33 beautiful Catholic churches, one for each year of Jesus’ life. The Paz y Esperanza regional office is based in the city of Ayacucho, or Huamanga, but works in the outlying areas.

History of Paz y Esperanza

The Paz y Esperanza office in Ayacucho was established on April 1, 2002. Ayacucho is a natural and strategic place for Paz y Esperanza to work, as the region was front stage in Peru´s years of internal turmoil that also gave rise to Paz y Esperanza. This shared history has formed an intimate bond between Ayacucho and Paz y Esperanza.

The 1984 assassination of our Christian brothers in Callqui (Ayacucho) prompted the National Evangelical Alliance (CONEP) to form the Peace and Hope Commission that later became the Paz y Esperanza of today. The life, work and mission of Paz y Esperanza today reflect its beginnings in the heart of the Peruvian church during a time of widespread political violence.

Opening the office in Ayacucho was significant and a meaningful ¨returning to our roots¨.  The focus of our presence there is to participate in the process of closing a chapter that has been very painful for hundreds of thousands of people in Peru. Our work focuses on justice for victims of the political violence, fulfilling the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and mental health.  It is an opportunity to continue to testify of our God – God of truth, justice and love.

Current Work in Ayacucho

  1. Legal services for people and communities affected by the armed internal conflict of Peru from 1980-2000.  Throughout the armed internal conflict, countless innocent men, women, and children in rural, Quechua-speaking regions were unjustly assassinated or disappeared entirely.  Paz y Esperanza continues to stand by victims’ family members, who have been seeking justice for more than twenty years.  
  2. Provision of mental health care to those affected by the traumatic events of the armed internal conflict.  The mental health team of Paz y Esperanza uses psychosocial techniques, which are adapted to the Andean reality and worldview, to counsel and restore those affected by the violence.  Their intervention tools include NET therapy and support groups (GAM).  Particularly with the support groups (GAM), many victims are healing and taking positive steps toward a brighter future.

3.  Natural Disaster Risk Management.  Throughout the armed internal conflict, many families in affected areas relocated to the outskirts of cities.  Rather than find safety, they encountered another danger—natural disaster in the form of mudslides after heavy rains.  In Ayacucho, Paz y Esperanza works to make people aware of this danger.  Also, they encourage the community and local government to manage risks due to such disasters.  Many informed community leaders have developed risk management plans, and they are presenting their plans before political authorities in order to secure the necessary funds.  These community leaders are capable of political activism.

Opportunities for Volunteers

Internship:  [Access to Justice] [Research and Development] [Comprehensive Rehabilitation]

Testimonies

Mr. Osnayo's Case for Justice 

Mr. Osnayo’s family was murdered by the Army Patrol during the armed internal conflict over twenty years ago.  He continues to seek justice for his family.  Presently, the Paz y Esperanza office in Ayacucho is defending Mr. Osnayo’s case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. 

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