Mosoq Runa


We searched for a long time for a name for our association, and in the end we chose one in Quechua, partly in honor of the native culture and partly because “Mosoq Runa” expresses our purpose exactly. “Mosoq” means “new” and “Runa” means “man” (as in mankind), so we translate the phrase as “New People”. This is our project: to educate children and teenagers about themselves, others and the environment in which they live, so that they can in turn educate other “Mosoq Runa” who can contribute to the development of this country.


Our story

The Mosoq Runa Association was created in April 2001 by two volunteers in Peru who wanted to make their work official. Since October 2000, they had been working with a group of children from Ccotohuincho, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Urubamba. A small city nestled in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Urubamba lies approximately 60 km from Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire.

Ccotohuincho is an extremely poor area that still lacks basic facilities like running water, a sewage system, paved streets, health services and schools. Most families live in unsanitary conditions, which harm the children’s health, causing intestinal and respiratory infections. In most cases, the parents don’t have enough money to satisfy the basic needs of their many children, who lack everything from food and medical care to education. On top of all this, many people, both young and old, suffer from alcoholism, which causes much reckless behavior, including domestic violence, mostly directed towards women and children.

Clearly, most of these children can’t help but turn out like their parents. The only way to break the cycle is to place them in a different environment, one in which they are safe from abuse, accepted, respected and heard. In such an environment, they can be motivated to realize their potential and inspired to have faith in themselves.

Our educational and cultural project, Mosoq Runa, was born within and because of this world. Our purpose is twofold: first, to create a hogar (home) for “at risk” children and teenagers, second, to run workshops with vocational training for teenagers and young adults in the area.

With time, these workshops won’t only teach the young people various trades, but will also provide jobs for local residents and produce material to sell and thus help the hogar work towards economic sustainability.

Nothing of what we have done over the past six years would have been possible without the indefatigable work of “Urubamba” a Turin-based association of volunteers that was started at the same time as Mosoq Runa. In Peru, our friends Matteo and Camila have greatly supported us through their work in “ethical tourism” with their agency, “Peru Etico” and their hotel, the Piccola Locanda. “Urubamba” “Peru Etico” and the Piccola Locanda have thus widened our support network. This large group of friends has faith in us and helps us to continue with our work. Thanks to this collective effort, Mosoq Runa has slowly reached our first objectives. We now have a hogar that accommodates thirteen children full-time. In addition, we have set up two workshops (sewing and cooking/baking) and in March 2011 we opened a shop in Urubamba where we sell our homemade Italian food and pastries.

There is still a lot of work to do, but our success thus far motivates us to keep going and have faith, for we know that there are so many generous people out there who are ready and willing to lend us a hand.