Many people asked me how the September 11 events affected people in Peru. To begin, at least three Peruvians were killed in the attacks, including Ivhan Luis Carpio* who had just landed what he considered a dream job as a waiter at Windows on the World, a restaurant on the 106th floor of the North Tower. Ivhan had just turned 24 on September 11. Like us, Peruvians felt a great sadness. We are an interconnected world.
Peru has been adversely affected by the world economic slowdown. I noticed more people on the streets trying to make a living selling small items like oranges or combs. The hardest hit are the poor who face a medical need. The Mary Bloom Center, because it includes a small clinic, has done what it can to help the most needy.
You might remember that on top of everything else, southern Peru suffered a major earthquake on June 23. Using money donated by a parish in the Archdiocese, I went with volunteers from the Mary Bloom Center to deliver some aid. Before distributing the foodstuffs, the community leaders took me to their chapel. On the walls they had written:
After September 11 those words are more true than ever. I ask your help so that the Mary Bloom Center can continue its work on behalf of children and families in the Andes region of Peru. If you are able to help, please make out your check to Holy Family Parish with "Mary Bloom Center" in the memo and mail it to:
Fr. Phil Bloom
*The Washington File gave this information about Ivhan:
Last Tuesday was Ivhan Luis Carpio Bautista's day off at Windows on the World. It was also his birthday. But with an extended family back in Peru depending on his paycheck, Mr. Carpio, 24, did not hesitate when a co-worker called that Monday night asking if he would cover a shift. "He worked all the overtime he could," said a cousin, Rita Tatiana Palacio. "Too many people needed the money, including a niece whose school he paid for."
"In the two years since arriving in New York speaking only Spanish, Mr. Carpio had made enviable strides. His English was nearly fluent, he had found the perfect job, and last month had moved into his own place, having previously shared an apartment with his cousin in Queens. The day before the attack on the twin towers, he learned that he had been accepted to John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It was a day of triumph, as he had been uncertain whether the school would accept credits from his two-and-a-half years of law school in Peru. "He was so excited, so happy," Ms. Palacio said. "I remember him saying how he was so lucky, that everything was going to be so good from now on."
Picture of Ivhan
Report on Peru Earthquake