New Baby in Puno

(February 1999)

Lent, with its collections for Operation Rice Bowl and Catholic Relief Services, focuses our attention on assisting the need of our world. In light of that I would to share part of a letter I received from Sister Caty Vargas who directs the school and orphanage in Puno, Peru, where the Mary Bloom Center is located.

"The majority of the girls have gone to spend some days with their relatives. We believe the change of ambient helps them; other girls who do not have family have remained with us. As far as the boy we have in house, he is around four months old, the doctor ruled out hidrocephalia but he does have a serious lesion on the brain. We hope that with treatment he will keep improving. It is a little expensive, but I believe worth it. When little Peter was completing four months, we received a baby named Francisca, whose mother also died in childbirth. She was born with a high degree of malnourishment, also is in treatment but we are sure that God blesses us in finding persons like yourselves who help us, otherwise our work would be limited since without economic support very little can be done. Francisca was hospitalized in Juliaca for enterocolitis necrozante perinatal. When her mom died, they gave her cow's milk because they had no other option and this caused intestinal problems. She is in our home but we have to be very careful becuase she is a tiny baby, weighing only two and half kilos.

"With respect to what you asked about the budget for the work we hope to realize, I can say the following: We have now taken down the delapidated buildings and cleared the ground. We hope to build a study hall for elementary age, as well as a kitchen and bakery. To put up these buildings the cost is (more or less) 38,000 New Soles, which at the current exchange would be $12,500."

In January Holy Family Parish took up a two-bit collection for the orphanage in Puno. At that time $592.05 were donated and, as you can see, it was a great help for the work of the Vincentian Sisters there.

Francisca with Vincentian Daughter of Charity, Sor Maria

Maritza & Sor Maria

Juan David Working on Construction

Orphan Girls with Vegetables

Tuberculosis Patient

Maria with tuberculosis patient
(Maria is a girl who was raised in the Sisters' Orphanage and is now serving as a nurse. Intravenous treatment and other medicines made possible by donations to Mary Bloom Center.)

Pictures Courtesy of Georgina Rea, VICS Volunteer working at Mary Bloom Center in Puno, Peru.