Author Archives: Kristina J. Owens

About Kristina J. Owens

Molecular Biologist, Science & Technology Public Policy, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

Application for Funds-2018

Kids-Buffalo Bills

Peruvian Project, Inc., is currently accepting applications from local Peruvian based non-profits in the Jungle areas of Peru. Peruvian Project, Inc., supports and strengthens local organizations of the jungle area of Peru, with funds and materials that encourage, facilitate, and enable impoverished children to attend school with the end goal of having each child finish high school.

Are you an organization that meets the above requirements or do you know of such an organization?

We encourage you to apply!

Funding is for the 2018 school year (March 2018- December 2018)

Application Deadline: February 10, 2018

Awardees will be notified by February 18th, 2018

Please email your completed application and/or questions to

English application

Application for Funds (English)

Spanish application

Convocatoria para financiamiento

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Summer Fundraiser!

Get ready for some delicious authentic Peruvian food for a great cause! Your tax deductible  $25 will give you a full Peruvian meal!

When: Sunday, July 31st.
Where: 57 Long Branch Drive, Henrietta, NY
Time: 4 pm to 8 pm.
Donation: $25 per person (Tax deductible)
RSVP: July 28

Click on the link below, print out the 2nd page, and select your entree choices, then mail your check by July 28th. More details on the flier.


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Success Stories Part II

This post is a continuation of more success stories by the kids who participated in COCID, a small local non-profit that Peruvian Project, inc  has supported for many years now.


Meet Maria Gladys, she is in her last year in the Police Academy in Lima. She was a very good student. and made COCIDs ‘Blue cap’ club -An honor roll of the best COCID kids. The Blue caps are Buffalo Bills caps that were donated by the team several years ago.  Her parents sold various things on the street. However, they worked hard to help her get through school so she may have a better life.


Meet Segundo, He was with COCID for five years. He was also part of the Blue caps club He just finished his studies in accounting.


Marilu just finished and graduated from High school. She moved to to Lima and currently is working at the Magazine COSAS.

We are proud of these kids!  Just graduating from High school puts them on the path out of poverty!

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Success Stories Part I

Peruvian Project, Inc  has supported COCID, a local small NGO based in Moyobamba, Peru since our founding in 2007; However, the Rios Owens family has supported COCID since 2002. We are so thrilled to hear about the success stories from the kids who benefit from this program.  Here are a few photos of former students and where they are now.

Peruvian Project, inc main goal is to facilitate the poorest of children to graduate from High School. This is a key factor necessary to succeed.

Meet  Norvil, Jose, Giovanna, Manuel and Hans!


Norvil accepting school supplies

Norvil a graudate of the COCID program in Moyobamba is now in his 3rd year towards becoming an engineer.


Jose 2002-2009

Jose, graduating in 2009, just completed his studies in accounting. He is currently working in his field. He also has returned to help out with various workshops for the current COCID students.



After graduating in 2008, Giovanna now works in the City of Tarapoto. In her free time she helps put on children’s theater  and helps her grandparents



Manual just finished his  post baccalaureate studies in Nursing to be a Nurse Aid. (Health careers like in most areas of the world are in high demand)



After receiving his high school degree, he has a steady job as a Taxi Driver.

We are so proud of these kids, whether they went on to study more or simply finished high school. The odds against these kids were extremely high. Graduating high school and the lessons they received from COCID prepares them to be productive citizens and to break the cycle of poverty.


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Sandro- A success story

One of the biggest frustrations for Peace Corps Volunteers and international aid workers is to ascertain if we are making a difference. You have to trust you are indeed making a difference. Perhaps you will inspire the future President of their country or simply help them reach their own potential and contribute positively in their communities.

The Peruvian Project team is made up of passionate, committed and positive individuals. We trust we can make a difference but from day to day its hard to see if we have indeed made a difference.

We are so proud of all the children and celebrate even the tiniest accomplishments.

Each year, COCID rewards the top kids with caps donated by the Buffalo Bills

Each year, COCID rewards the top kids with caps donated by the Buffalo Bills

But every once awhile we have a star kid who makes us smile from ear to ear. We are so proud! This year we are so proud of Sandro

Sandro studying 2011

Sandro studying 2011

Sandro with this brothers/sisters and cousins 2012

Sandro with this brothers/sisters and cousins 2012

Sandro was one of the first kids to start attending PRONILOR (previously known as ASDA,) and he continued until he graduated from High School. Sandro is from Belen which is one of the poorest sections of Iquitos.

Sandro receives an award from Peruvian Project President

Sandro receives an award from Peruvian Project President in 2013

Sandro has been attending the program for 9 years. He was first kid to graduate from High School and the first to get accepted to a technical Institute to study to be a Laboratory Technician.

Sandro posing with his new school uniform

Sandro posing with his new school uniform

Sandro practicing his new skills!

Sandro practicing his new skills!

We are so proud of Sandro!  We are so excited for his future!

Follow us to continue getting updates like this!  Want to help? Find out how by Emailing us at  We welcome monetary and non-monetary donations and we are always looking for volunteers

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Thanking our donors!

Peruvian Project, Inc has many great volunteers and donors. Our organization makes every effort to be diligent on how we spend the donations.  Each of our donors get pictures and a letter from one of the organizations we support.

A great big Thank you for Mr. Richard!

A great big Thank you for Mr. Richard!

This month, Peruvian Project, Inc received a generous donation from Richard Cooper. This donation made it possible for PRONILOR to purchase much needed furniture and other supplies for their summer program and preparation for the school year! With his donation they were able to purchase new chairs, tables and notebooks.

TableS, Chairs and more!

Tables, Chairs and more!

Smiling from ear to ear!  a Brand new stool

Smiling from ear to ear! a Brand new stool

Why your donation makes a difference?

1) Your donation will go a long way. $100 can buy a set of table and chairs plus notebooks and books for 10 kids

2) 100% of your donation is used to directly help the programs. We do not take any ‘overhead’ that big charities tend to do. Our Board of Directors are all volunteers who contribute their time, expertise and money to ensure success.

3) You can donate for a specific program, or needed item. For example You may want to see the kids learn english your donation could be used to purchase books in english, training for a teacher,  or travel for a volunteer.

How can you donate?

Two ways:

1) Go to our donation page:

2) Send us a check to:  Peruvian Project, Inc; 57 Long Branch Drive, Henrietta, NY 14467

Have questions email us at

Finally, whatever you can donate whether its your time (reading and sharing this post), money, your contribution means alot to the kids, the Peruvian Organizations and to Peruvian Project, Inc. Thank you so much for all that you do!

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Teenage Pregnancy in Moyobamba

Pregnancies among girls less than 18 years of age have irreparable consequences. It violates the rights of girls, with life-threatening consequences in terms of sexual and reproductive health, and poses high development costs for communities, particularly in perpetuating the cycle of poverty.  (Adolescent Pregnancy: A review of the Evidence 2013)

Help with school work

Help with school work

Peruvian Project works to address and prevent Teenage pregnancy through our education programs. It is shown if girls finish high school they will less likely give birth before age 19.

There are a few key stats ( )    which indicate that this is definitely a concern. In the Department of San Martin (Moyobamba):

52% of Teenage mothers only have elementary school level education

Only 18% of these young mothers have completed high school.

17% of teenage girls are sexually active before age 15.

According to UNFP (United Nation’s Population fund)  Teenage pregnancy is caused by several factors:

1) Human rights issues

2) Poverty

3) Violence and Sexual Abuse

4) No access to education and Health Services-especially reproductive health

5) Child Labor

There several aspects that can be addressed to reduce the risk of  Teenage pregnancy:

1) Educate and help children gain confidence in making their own choices in life.

2) Ensure that both boys and girls have equal access to education and opportunities

3)  Ensure the children’s rights are not violated

4) Identify Key factors such as poverty that is impacting the higher rates of teenage pregnancy

Peruvian Project, provides opportunities for the poorest children to mitigate many of these challenges. In Moyobamba, we have tutoring to help each kid do well in school and various workshops so they learn life skills that they would otherwise not be taught.

Your Donation goes directly to pay for Teacher’s salaries, school supplies for each child and facilitate workshops. In-Kind Donations include, pencils, pens, notebooks and books. These are also beneficial since many of the children are required to have these supplies for school but their parents cannot afford to purchase these supplies.  Other Donations that are welcome are  stuffed animals and dolls for special occasions such as Christmas or rewards for their accomplishments.

Interested in Donating please email 

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Happy 100th Birthday Antonia Ríos-Boubnoff

Antonia Ríos-Boubnoff is one of Peruvian Project’s major contributors.  On February 14, 2014 Antonia celebrated her 100th birthday. She was born Antonia Del Carmen Ríos Ríos in Soritor, a village located a few miles from Moyobamba.


Town of Moyobamba

She was about four years old when she lost her mother and went to live with her grandmother. After her grandmother died, Antonia was raised by a couple of her aunts.


Very Young Antonia

When Antonia was 15 years old, she found herself without a place to live, but thanks to some Christian missionaries, Antonia was able to work in exchange for room and board.  When she was 19 years old, these missionaries helped her get into a nursing school in Lima, which was associated with of one of the better hospitals in the city. She paid for her classes by working in the hospital. Four years later she graduated as a Nurse and continued to work there until she met her future husband, a Russian-American engineer. 

Antonia - Nurse

Antonia in her Nurse’s uniform

In 1941 Antonia traveled to the US (NYC) with a “fiancé visa”. Her marriage was brief, but she decided to make a life in the USA. She found work, learned English and prepared for her Nursing License. After 10 years in this country Antonia became a USA citizen and a year later she passed her nursing exams. For the next 48 years she lived and worked in NYC. Antonia never remarried nor had children.  

In 1999, at the age of 85, she moved to the Rochester NY area to live with her great niece, Luisa E. Rios-Owens in order to be closer to her family.

Antonia with her niece Luisa

Antonia with her niece Luisa

The Rios Family

The Rios Family


In 2001 she visited her hometown for the first time in 60 years. She was shocked to see a great number of underprivileged children working on the streets instead of attending school. When presented with the opportunity, she got involved in supporting a program through Peruvian Project that helped the neediest children of the town of Moyobamba to get an education. Antonia was able to see the results of her support during several visits to the program in Moyobamba.

Antonia & kids

Antonia accepting gifts from the children she is helping 

Antonia. Luisa & children

Antonia & Luisa with Children

Now, due to her age, she cannot travel very far, but she still asks about “the children” and is very aware of her participation in making a difference in their lives. Antonia remembers her own life as young person and wants to give a helping hand to children who suffer from the same hardships she did. Antonia has also supported other causes that help children, like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, UNICEF, and Catholic Relief Services.


Antonia 100th Bday-1

Blowing out her candle for her 100th Birthday

Antonia 100th Bday-2

Antonia receiving an Honor: February 14, 2014 was proclaimed by Monroe County Executive-Maggie Brooks to be Antonia Rios-Boubnoff day!

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More Poverty stats

Peru, the country , has come a long way over the last 40 plus years, since Peruvian Project President served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Iquitos, Peru. Their economy is stable, there is less poverty and on the surface you see a flourishing  country. However, when you start looking deeper, you can see there continues to be challenges for the poorest children.


UNICEF (United Nations Children’s fund) recently published report on the children of Peru: that discusses a realistic perspective of the status of the children of Peru.

Peruvian Project is in agreement with what this report says:

“because Peru is a country with great cultural, ethnic, linguistic, socio-economic and geographic diversity,
national averages tend to hide the real situation of inequity in which many children and
adolescents live”

The statistics, in general show significant improvements and since Peruvian Project started we have seen a withdrawal of aid from larger NGOs. Peru has alot to be proud of but the cycle of poverty has to be broken. That is why Peruvian Project focuses on the poorest children.

In the Loreto region, where Peruvian Project focuses on, the poorest children do not necessarily starve, but the incidence of malnutrition is very high. Malnutrition is often invisible and hard to identify just by looking at a child. It affects children such as learning and focusing on school.

This report also indicates that many of the poorest children in regions such a Loreta are not at grade level, making it more difficult for them to break this cycle of poverty.

Peruvian Project programs works to help bring these kids up to grade level,  with simple tutoring,  health and Wellness programs,  and partnering with other local organizations so these children can receive proper nutrition.


Many of these programs,  tutoring, Health and Wellness, and life skills workshops are dependent on Peruvian Project donors. If you want to know specifics about particular workshops we do, please email us at

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Poverty Stats

Perhaps you wonder why we focus on these specific communities at Peruvian Project. Without a doubt there is an emotional aspect to it. Peruvian Project board members grew up in the area and want to do something to give back, or like Peruvian Project President Bob Owens, served in the Peace Corps in Peru and two years is not enough to make a lasting impact.

Beyond the emotional reasons to  help these communities there is a real concrete need in these communities, that is another reason why we do the work we do.

Below are statistics I obtained from Peruvian government document:

Peruvian Project Community: Belen District, Province of Maynas, Department of Loreto

Belen, Iquitos, Peru

Belen, Iquitos, Peru

Population : 74,914     Percentage in Poverty: 38.1%     Percentage in Extreme Poverty: 14.2%

Infant Mortality per 1000: 25   Chronic Malnutrition: 31.1%

Households where children who do not attend school: 4.4%

Girls from Belen Iquitos Peru

Girls from Belen Iquitos Peru

Peruvian Project does their small part to reduce the poverty statistic. Your donations go towards paying for teachers and programs such as Wellness, nutrition, business skills and other life skills.  Our first goal is to ensure each child makes it through school and graduates from High School. Getting an education is step towards breaking the cycle of poverty.

Keep updated at our Facebook page:

Follow us on twitter @peruvianproject

Want to help?

1) Donate directly on this page

2)Email  about donating or helping with specific projects


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