In Peru, Mom Fights for Children’s Dreams

We were introduced to Rosa Hidalgo during a midday visit to the Christian Cooperation for Development (COCID) in Moyobamba, Peru. Her words are still etched in my memories.

Peru parent

Rosa Enith Hidalgo prepares lunch for students at the Christian Cooperation for Development also known as Casa de COCID. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

Rosa’s daughter Rosemary and two nieces she cares for attend the center, which provides meals, small business and culinary training, educational services and self-esteem workshops for working children in the jungle region. Parents of children who attend the program are encouraged to volunteer at the center as a way to show support for their children. Rosa wouldn’t have it any other way.

It was her day to cook lunch. Rosa completed her task with purpose and reverence. “I want a better future for my kids,” she says, after heaping rice, beans and cooked tuna onto small plates.

Rosa, who lives in one of the area’s most economically depressed communities, says that she heard about the COCID center from a neighbor.

Peru student

Rosemary Garcia attends Casa de COCID and has plans to become a nurse. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

Like much of the adult population in the jungle region, the 36-year-old mother of two, works in the field for part of the year harvesting coffee. She earns the equivalent of $3-5 dollars a day. That’s hardly enough for single parents like Rosa to put food on the table and send their children to school.

Rosa is a dedicated mother and joy thrives in her children. They are well-groomed, neatly dressed and bubbly. She shares a tight bond with 15-year-old daughter Rosemary, who whispered tenderly in her ear during our interview. Rosemary said that she wants to be a nurse.

“As long as God allows me I will fight until my daughter achieves her dreams,” says Rosa, whose son, 19, attends college.

“I hope they become professionals,” she says. “I wanted to be a professional but fate didn’t allow that.”

Rosa is thankful for COCID and for the support of Catholic Relief Services and its donors.

“It’s a great help for us,” says Rosa. “No matter how hard we fight we can’t provide all of this for our children. In union there’s strength.”

– Kai T. Hill, assistant web producer

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