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Peruvian Outreach Project

POP hosts second annual Peruvian dinner fundraiser at GO ART!

By Press Release


The Peruvian Outreach Project (POP) is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit working in Tarapoto, Peru for two major initiatives, the Hogar Hermelinda Home for Young Women and the Aldea Infantil Virgen del Pilar.  

This project is hosting its second annual Dinner and Basket Raffle fundraiser April 6 at the Genesee Orleans Council on the Arts located at 201 E. Main St., Batavia to help support these initiatives.

There will be a cash bar and basket raffle as well as a delicious meal.  The meal includes authentic Peruvian cuisine, including chicha Morada ( a drink made from purple corn), Causa Rellena ( potatoes layered with chicken and avocado), lomo saltado ( beef with rice) and suspiro limeña ( a delicious custard).

The Hogar Hermelinda is a home for young women established by POP in 2022.  It is a safe home for six young women who come from rural areas of the Amazon who otherwise would not have the opportunity to study after high school.

POP provides room and board for these young women who are all studying to become nurses.  They will graduate next year!  The second focus for POP is to improve the quality of life for the children living at the Aldea Infantil Virgen del Pilar Orphanage.  

Recently POP has provided a music workshop and a sewing workshop. Also POP purchased three new computers to replace the computers the children were trying to use in their school. They also received new school uniforms, school supplies and an annual Christmas Celebration. 

Organizers of this event have come to realize that this is a busy weekend with the upcoming eclipse, and they promise that the meal is worth it as an authentic and enjoyable experience. 

Tickets must be pre-purchased for $25 per dinner at or by check, sent to: Peruvian Outreach Project, P.O. Box 234, East Pembroke, NY, 14056.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., dinner starts at 7 p.m., and basket raffle winners chosen at 8:30 p.m.

Please consider joining us to celebrate with a delicious and unique Peruvian meal.

Youth group takes a trip to GO Art! and Peru

By Joanne Beck

A creamy casserole resembling layered lasagna with a Peruvian twist, and a sweet finale of cinnamon-dusted milk custard, wedged between a tour of an arts facility and hands-on exercises of creative works.

Not too shabby of a school day for a group of 13 students visiting GO Art! Wednesday in Batavia.

The day was part of a Youth Bureau Genesee Youth Leadership program organized by Program Coordinator Chelsea Elliott. The program offers a different each month from October through May, and February is about Arts and Culture. Elliott worked with GO Art! staff for the artistic component, and staff, in turn, reached out to members of the Peruvian Outreach Project to provide the cultural aspect.

“And they did all the behind-the-scenes work. They are the ones that thought of who would cook the meal and what the culture would be. And I let them kind of run with it. Because I knew that they would have the best connections to make this day be the best for our kids,” Elliott said after the cooking demonstration. “So each month we focus on different topics. We begin at BOCES, that's our home base. And then we go out to the community for the rest of the day, basically, for them to learn more about their community. What happens behind the scenes … a lot of these kids don't even know anything about art until today. So it's opening their eyes to other things that go on in the community, other than just what goes on in their own little towns.

"We always hope that … they can go back to their schools and tell their peers, ‘there's this great program that's in the community, you know, we should get more involved,’" she said. "Because, again, if they don't know about it, they don't know about it.”

The group of 13 students represented grades nine through 12 in five different school districts of Batavia, Byron-Bergen, Le Roy, Alexander and Oakfield. GO Art! Executive Director Gregory Hallock gave them a tour of the East Main Street facility, and Christian Houlihan of the Peruvian Outreach Project talked about his experience as an orphan who was adopted and brought to the United States and now travels back to Peru to assist his native homeland.

The students were then seated next to the kitchen while Veronica Collantes demonstrated how to assemble the authentic causa rellena dish of layered potatoes with lemon oil, chicken salad, and avocados. A dish piled high and a bright yellow, it was then served for lunch as Latin-themed music played in the background.

The kids were also given a cup of inca kola, a sugary yellow Peruvian drink, and topped off their meals with leche asada, a creamy milk custard. Elliott described it as similar to a rice pudding. No one left much on their plates or in the dessert glasses.

“It’s good, I never had anything like it,” 15-year-old Mary Engelhardt said.

Mary has known for a while now that she wants to go into law enforcement and become a deputy, so when Elliott recommended that she apply for the leadership program, that’s just what the Le Roy 10th-grader did. Other program topics include criminal justice, community service, and agriculture. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out Mary’s favorite outing so far: criminal justice, which included a visit to the jail.

“I’ve been before, but I liked it. It’s just what I want to do,” she said. “Today has been very interesting. I’m not interested in art, but it’s interesting.”

Neither Mary nor Elijah Loysen, a ninth-grader from Oakfield, had ever been to the GO Art! building. Elijah enjoyed the visit, he said.

“I think the art and ambiance of the building and the colors are aesthetically pleasing,” he said.

Kathy Houlihan wanted to educate the kids about Peru and the outreach project, while also potentially recruiting a few volunteers for future events, including a dinner and basket raffle in March at GO Art!.

“If anyone likes chopping vegetables, we could use the help,” she said. 

After lunch, the students were going to meet up with artists Susan Ferrari Rowley and Gaitrie Subryan for some hands-on experience. This type of visit from the Youth Bureau only happens once a year, Education Director/SCR Coordinator Mary Jo Whitman said.

“It's very exciting. A lot of people don't realize that our building is open to the public. So having them come in and realizing, okay, well, this is actually a really cool building,” Whitman said. “There's a lot of artwork, and we have a ton of programming, a lot of stuff that might be actually interesting to them.”

Top Photo of Veronica Collantes demonstrating how to make causa rellena; Kathy Houlihan serving leche asada; students enjoying lunch at GO Art!; and watching the demonstration in between a tour and hands-on art project. Photos by Joanne Beck.

How about a little arroz con pollo with your basket raffle? Peruvian dinner fundraiser March 25

By Joanne Beck

The Peruvian Outreach Project is a nonprofit organization that assists orphaned children in Peru with donations of clothing, essential supplies, special celebrations for Christmas, and educational opportunities for young women at an outreach-leased residence so that they can pursue the field of nursing and have hope for the future.

The residence, known as the Hogar Hermelinda Home for Young Women, is full, with six young women who are studying nursing and volunteering at the Aldea Orphanage.

There will be a dinner and basket raffle fundraiser to help with expenses for outreach efforts. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and dinner is at 7 p.m. on March 25 at GO Art!, 201 East Main St., Batavia. Organizer Kathy Houlihan hopes to have at least 20 baskets for the event, and winning tickets will be drawn at 8:30 p.m.

A Peruvian meal of papas a la huancaina (potatoes with Huancaina sauce), arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), leche asada (milk custard), and inca cola (a sweet beverage) will be served. There will also be a cash bar and door prizes.

The Peruvian Outreach Project has already made a big difference in the lives of vulnerable children and young people the last few years with your help, Houlihan said. The organization’s mission is “hope and compassion through work that enhances the lives of others.”

Outreach members are also striving to spread the word of the project and share the culture with others while garnering support for the work, she said.

Presale tickets are $30 and may be purchased via PayPal or Venmo at Peruvian Outreach Project, or by mail at: P.O. Box 234, East Pembroke, NY, 14056.

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