Our work in Peru

The Los Cachorros foundation was founded by Alanya Santa Cruz, originally from Peruvian and adopted by Dutch parents. Alanya grew up in a Brabant village, but never really felt at home in the Netherlands. When she was fifteen she walked away from home and wandered through Utrecht for three years, where she ended up in the homeless circuit. Together with other former homeless people, she set up the Utrecht Night Care in Self-Management (NOIZ), with which institution she worked as a coordinator.


In the summer of 2000 Alanya, together with seven other adopted Peruvian youths and their Dutch family, made a so-called ‘roots trip’ to Peru. She felt right at home in her homeland and at the sight of all poverty and the many street children she decided to change her life, by going for the homeless and homeless children. She chose to settle in Ayacucho, her hometown. As in many Peruvian cities, there are countless children who, for various reasons, do not have a roof over their heads. The situation in Ayacucho is all the more horrendous: this city has been deprived for years because it was the home of the terrorist group Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso).

After arriving home in the Netherlands, Alanya founded the Los Cachorros foundation on 28 September 2000 and started the preparatory work. In 2002 she returned to Peru, and on 29 May 2003 the night care was officially opened in the presence of the Mayor of Ayacucho. Since 2006, Los Cachorros has been offering integrated help to street children.

About our work in Peru

The Los Cachorros Foundation is committed to street children aged 6 to 18 in Peru. Los Cachorros offers help to mostly traumatized and addicted street children. They often roam the streets because of poverty, violence or abuse at home. Due to structural constraints, many families have to make a daily struggle to survive. Some children end up on the streets because the parents are no longer able to maintain them. However, it is not only structural limitations that are responsible for the (continued) existence of street children, socio-cultural factors also play an important role.

As long as matters such as alcoholism lead to disintegration of the family, violence is a common method for the imposition of discipline and the machismo in deprivation and mistreatment of women and children, children in extreme situations will definitely go to the streets.

On the street, the children quickly come into contact with petty crime and drug use to tackle the harsh street life. Street children live in very unhygienic conditions and sexual abuse occurs on a large scale. In addition, these children face daily rejection and marginalization.

Via street work, shelter, psychosocial help education and access to health care, Los Cachorros guides these children from the street back to family or to a future on their own feet.

A safe home

Shelter Los Cachorros provides a safe haven, where street children can blossom into self-assured adolescents. Personal attention and love are central. Los Cachorros ensures that the children can be children again and gives them knowledge, skills and confidence for the future!

We focus on the following components:

  • Information
  • Street work
  • Night care
  • Permanent care
  • Returning home