Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Grand Chocolatada

Though Juanita Amenero moved to Los Angeles California 30 years ago with her family she never forgot her Chiclayo roots. The family prospered in Los Angeles and every year without fail she financed a chocolatada for her old neighborhood. Juanita passed away in 2014 and now her sons are carrying on the tradition.

There is an incredible amount of work that goes into organizing a chocolatada for 300 kids in a Chiclayo neighborhood, beginning with the permit needed to close and erect a structure on a city street. Then there’s chair rental, entertainment contracts, soliciting donations and dozens of other details. This chocolatada was held last Sunday.

Fortunately there are dozens of volunteers from the neighborhood who have participated in past chocolatadas and know the routine for distributing food, chocolate milk and toys. They also do a great job of controlling 300 kids. Just trying to keep the kids in their seats is a monumental task. With the exception of nursing mothers adults are prohibited.

The Juanita Amenero Foundation was created both as a memorial to Juanita and for a mechanism to continue her philanthropy. Ricardo Amenero (pictured) and his brother Victor, both living in Los Angeles are two of the principals and though they spend several thousand dollars to sponsor the December chocolatada their main focus as was their mother’s is to help needy families. Every year six families are selected to receive what amounts to nearly total support for a year. Children’s school expenses are covered. They are given clothing when needed and on the 20th of every month food is delivered to their door. But before receiving aid the families are asked to promise in front of witnesses that they will not sell or do anything other than use personally what they are given. Maribel was asked to be a witness to the oath-taking. The foundation also awarded $600 in scholarships though we don’t know the particulars.

To finance their activities the foundation relies on the generosity of a substantial Peruvian population in the greater Los Angeles area. Various kinds of fund raisers are held throughout the year, and there are a significant number of people who donate monthly to the fund.

We were impressed by what we saw and learned. During a discussion with Ricardo we talked about possible synergies between Promesa Peru and the Juanita Amenero Foundation and agreed to stay in contact.

1 comment:

  1. I love chocolat!!! It's definitly a beatiful story and worthy to know about