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New community founded in Pachacutec

 Kim Westerman

PACHACUTEC, Peru — In February 2024, two of our sisters began a new mission in this pueblo joven or “young town,” a newer settlement in the dusty Andean foothills outside of Lima. Sisters Maritza Jarro and María Elena Cáceres will be teaching civics and religion at Fe y Alegría School No. 59, which is part of a network of Latin American K-12 schools founded by the Jesuits and managed by a variety of religious congregations. Our sisters have been teaching at another Fe y Alegría School in Tacna, Peru for 30 years, but this is the final school year we will be in Tacna.

Pachacutec is part of the urban sprawl outside of the capital city, where people stake claim to unoccupied land and begin to build homes poco a poco (little by little) building one story, then adding another floor or a brick façade when they can afford it. The school calls itself un oasis de sabiduria (an oasis of knowledge).

A Peruvian woman wearing a pink shirt and a cross-body bag stands on a balcony overlooking a city and the Pacific Ocean in the distance

Sister Maritza Jarro stands on a balcony of Fe y Alegría School, where she began teaching language arts this year. Sprawling settlements and the Pacific coast can be seen in the distance.

Category: Stories

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The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.


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