Violetta is one of the oldest patients in El Hogar.  She was burned as a teen while studying by the light of a kerosene lamp when it fell and exploded.  Fires are common occurrences in some areas of Peru due to poor housing and limited access to electricity.  Although Violetta is 25, she still receives treatment at El Hogar for her burns and she hopes to one day have reconstructive dental surgery.  Violetta is a fantastic asset to El Hogar.  She is constantly helping with laundry, cooking or cleaning.  She is also a very diligent student and is currently studying technical nursing.


Julia is a reserved and contemplative nine year old who came to El Hogar four years ago to receive treatment for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL).  She just completed her third course of chemotherapy (this photo was the first time she removed her bandana since treatment) and will hopefully be returning to her home in the near future.  Unfortunately, if Julia relapses again, the National Cancer Hospital will not continue chemotherapy treatment and Peru does not perform bone marrow transplants for patients with Leukemia.  Instead, she would be sent home with medications for pain management.  Julia enjoys drawing and listening to Justin Bieber, her "musica favorita."


Victor was brought to El Hogar from his home in the Amazon Jungle by a missionary when he was two years old.  He was born without arms and with a malformed, truncated right leg.  When he first came to El Hogar, he was malnourished and could not speak.  But, with the right medical attention and lots of love, Victor is a flourishing and lively 10 year old.  He does everything with one foot: eating, drawing, typing on the computer and even riding a bike!  Due to his continuous medical needs, Victor will stay in El Hogar until he is an adult.


Andrea came to El Hogar when she was three months old to receive treatment for a rare genetic disease known as Apert Syndrome.  Apert Syndrome causes malformations of the hands and feet, a cleft palate and premature fusion of the skull plates.  During her two and a half years in El Hogar, Andrea has undergone six surgeries to remodel her skull, separate her fingers and repair her cleft palate.  Despite the many long and painful surgeries, Andrea is a blossoming toddler who enjoys picking flowers at the nearby park.  Once a month, Andrea's loving mother makes the 20 plus hour bus ride from her home in Cuzco to visit Andrea.


Joyful Juan was malnourished and weak due to a cleft lip and palate when he arrived at El Hogar.  In some areas of the Andes, the incidence of children born with oral-facial clefts is as high as 1 in 250 births compared to 1 in 750 birth in the United states.  Through the help of El Hogar and reconstructive surgery, Juan has returned to a normal weight.  He is now a smiley nine month old who loves to be cuddled and carried around El Hogar.  Once he has completely recovered from surgery, Juan will return to his family who lives in the inner city of Lima.


Axel is a very intelligent and inquisitive 10 year old who is often found helping the volunteers learn Spanish.  He first came to El Hogar due to a fracture to his leg that never healed.  He later was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type I, a genetic disease that can cause bone malformations.  Axel is currently undergoing treatment to lengthen the bone in his right leg.  Although Axel must use crutches, he does not let this stop him from playing soccer, basketball and tag.  When Axel completes his treatment, he will return to his family who lives approximately 100 miles from Lima in the Andes Mountains.



Quiet and caring Rosefelina came to El Hogar to receive treatment for a growth, known as Giant Nevi, that covers half of her face. The growth is non-cancerous, but there is an increased risk of it becoming melanoma skin cancer.  Rosefelina is currently undergoing a series of surgeries to remove the growth.  Within El Hogar, 18 year old Rosefelina has taken on a motherly role for some of the younger girls.  She recently graduated from high school and is pursuing a degree in cosmetology.  She enjoys practicing her cosmetology skills and cuts all of the girl's hair for free.  She also enjoys listening to music in her free time.


Jefferson came to El Hogar at the age of four after spending 3 1/2 years in the burn ward of a Lima hospital.  His burns are the result of a house fire when he was an infant.  Until recently, his parents thought he had passed away in the fire.  While in El Hogar, Jefferson has undergone several reconstructive surgeries to strengthen his skull and minimize his burns.  Jefferson's tenacious attitude and strong will enable him to overcome any obstacle with which he is faced.  He is fascinated with tools and construction and can be found with his tool box "helping" make repairs to El Hogar.  Unfortunately, Jefferson has not been reunited with his parents.