Thursday, September 25, 2014

UW PT Students Experience Peru

This September Manos Unidas welcomed 5 amazing physical therapy students from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA,  for a 2 week cultural-volunteer experience. This enthusiastic group of gals were accompanied by a licensed PT -UW alumni - and spent  2 weeks immersed in and educational setting. They worked directly with Amilcar, our physical therapist, visited students homes, spent a day in the Quechya speaking high communities, volunteered at an orphanage for disabled children, helped feed students, play with them and experience children with disabilities in an urban Andean setting - all in Spanish!

After full mornings at Manos Unidas, the gals had an opportunity to explore the great city of Cusco and its surrounding areas. The students are part of a University of Washington chapter called GROW within the Department of Rehabilitative Medicine, this was their first trip abroad. 

To read about this experience through their eyes, please visit their BLOG:

Manos Unidas extends its thanks to Corrin,  Catey, Jessica, Abbey and Liz for the incredible materials that were donated to the school and for Cheryl Kerfeld, assistant professor in the Dept of Rehabilitative medicine, for making this trip happen! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Inauguration of Phawarispa

Friday, September 5 2014 Manos Unidas inaugurated its newest program: Phawarispa - a Cynthia Carolina Caceres Baker project - the first and only transition and vocational training program for young adults with different abilities in the region of Cusco, Peru.

Friends and colleagues came to celebrate our opening with the ceremonial breaking of the clay pot of chica and cutting the red ribbon. Colleagues from municipalities, and disability organizations were present for the ceremony and tour of the new project.

The 1,500sq meter property consists of 12 rooms for students to prepare for careers in restaurants, dining rooms, housekeeping and self-sustaining garden products. The school also offers spaces for students to practice daily living skills like self-care, ironing and folding clothes as well as social spaces to spend time with peers and art/dance/theater.

The locations prime space is the cafe where students will learn to attend to guests, serve and maintain the space." Cafe Daria" will be open to the public on a daily basis.

Thank you to all those who attended this special event, may we be able to prepare many students in the region of Cusco. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MU Art at Peruvian Culture Event in NYC Sept 19

Manos Unidas has been invited to participate at an exclusive Peruvian Culture Event in New York City:

Jorge A. Meneses M. of  J. Meneses Group, Inc.
and the Consulate General of Peru  and the Commercial Office of Peru, in New York,
invite you to a special evening to rediscover Peruvian Culture

When: Friday, September 19th, 2014  from 6 pm to 9 pm
Where:  Metropolitan Building  44-01 11th Street, Long Island City – NY 11101

Come  enjoy live folk music and dance performance, organic food tasting and drinks, fashion–film & photo exhibit, live Peruvian-Flamenco experience. Dancing from 9pm till midnight

Manos Unidas will be raising funds by auctioning off incredible art pieces by Manos Unidas children and accepting donations. Celeste Marion, MU Executive Director, will be present at the event to meet and connect with friends and supporters. This event will launch the beginning of fundraising season for Manos Unidas in the US.

Please follow the link to purchase tickets in advance: 

Come out and enjoy a fabulous Peruvian evening!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Manos Unidas launched its capital fundraising campaign for Phawarispa, the FIRST and ONLY WORK TRAINING PROGRAM for YOUNG ADULTS with SPECIAL NEEDS in Cusco, Peru, on April 8, 2014. Our goal was $15,000 to furnish the project and support with first years expenses. See our campaign video above.

Did we do it? We not only met our goal, but blew it out of the water! 82 donors across the globe from Seattle to Tennessee to Scotland helped us reach a total of $23,960! Those funds have been put to use as we finish furnishing the school and prepare for our big inauguration day in August.

Thank you to each and every one of you!

The campaign was sponsored by The Children of Peru Foundation and other anonymous donors in Memory of Dr. Cynthia Carolina Caceres Baker, who each offered a match for this campaign of up to $15,000.

Special thanks goes out to the McClelland Foundation for their generous support. Honorary thanks to the following donors and those who opted to name classrooms, garden spaces, the art room and cafe in their names:
Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
Lawson Baker
Michelle Kunnen
Paul Hirz
Teri Taylor
Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Jeremy Lewno
Adam Dayan
Edgard Caceres
Debbie Rasiel
Mitch Hirz
Suzan Hirz
Paul Thomlinson
James Jones
Lyndsey Taylor
Linda Szeto and Daniel Duke
Greg Schmidt and Family
Anonymous friends with Bigg Hearts

Stay tuned for pictures from our big inauguration day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Children of Peru Campaign Kickoff April 1


Our Annual Children of Peru Matching Campaign Kicks off April 1! The Children of Peru Foundation, our first and largest foundation grantor, will be offering their annual matching campaign. For the 3rd year in a row they will start the challenge: what we fundraise online between April 1 -30 and they will match  up to $15,000!

This year is Epic! MU will be launching its second major project, "Phawarispa," a Transition program for teens and Vocational Training program for Young Adults up to 25 years old. The program will launch in April with the backing of the Ch of Peru Foundation and our own capital campaign will launch April 1. We need the help of many supporters to reach our goal this year, but I know it can be done. Stay tuned!

Alma Foundation Grant for Inclusion Program

Manos Unidas extends its appreciation for the continuation of the Alma Childrens Foundation Grant for our Inclusive Education project for 2014. Their grant of $12,000 has allowed us to include 23 students within 5 regular education public schools accompanied full time by 5 Manos Unidas teachers as well as implement a community awareness program. The project is innovative in the region of Cusco and gaining public and government attention. Thanks Alma for your continued support!

Student Sponsors

Sponsor a Student for the year
It costs an average of $170 a month to educate a student at Manos Unidas and most families pay less than half of that cost. 24% of students are on our scholarship program and several students even receive a free education.

We are looking for 10 new student sponsors this year and are offering 3 giving levels. For as little as $25 a month you could give the gift of education and receive 3 updates a year on the student you sponsor. Would you like to subscribe to be a student sponsor? Subscribe Here

Welcome 2014 School Year!

Welcome 2014 school year! 48 kids started school yesterday within their respective programs. We continue to interview the many more families waiting at the door for registration and will accept students until we are full. Our maximum capacity is 55 students under 12 years old this year which will be made possible by our power-house team of 24 professionals!

Watch out for your teen and young adult program launch on April 1, the first of its kind in Cusco and the second major project for Manos Unidas after Camino Nuevo. Coming soon!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Now Accepting Volunteers for 2014

LIVE  in Peru        
      GIVE knowledge       
           LEARN from a culture

Volunteer with Manos Unidas
Cusco, Peru

Be a part of groundbreaking work for children and young adults with Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and other intellectual differences.
Students, recent graduates and professionals in the following fields: Speech, Psychology, PT, OT, ABA, Special Education, Inclusive Education, Vocational Rehab, Non-Profit Management, Spanish or other related fields.

Apply your skills in a whole new way within one of our 4 programs. Additional opportunities available in orphanages, rural communities, home visits, family workshops, and specialized teacher training

1 month-3 months
March – November, 2014


·         Beginning Level of Spanish – moderate to advanced levels preferred

·         Willingness to learn and exchange information with an open mind

Includes room and board with a Peruvian family and much more!

Read more about the Manos Unidas Volunteer Program here:

Contact us:                  

We can skype, chat or email to answer all your questions.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

6 Reasons to Celebrate 2013!

Looking back on 2013, the year had many challenges, change and glory – both for me personally and the school. But I want to celebrate the journey, and prepare for another amazing year!

Today we Celebrate:
    1) The 5 Manos Unidas families who now live with hope and not despair because of their special child (approx. 330 mothers, fathers, siblings and relatives). More than 180 children to date have benefitted from our services since 2007.

    2) The 3 public schools who have opened their doors to include of our students. This year we included 15 students. More than 300 regular school children, teachers and parents have benefitted from our Inclusion Program.

    3) The 21 powerful women and 1 man who work as teachers, assistants, therapists and administrators as bold community leaders, taking on the daily challenges of our students and helping them achieve goals that no one thought was possible.

    4) The 210 donors and 3 foundations who helped us meet our budget of US $114,000. Special thanks to the $1500 challenge contestants Jen Patterson, Claire Ibell, Kelly Miura, Sarah Oberle, Laura Boyer, Greg Schmidt and Donna Hernandez who raised a total of: $5561.00. Warm thanks to Intermountain Vocational services and Boise, Idaho for your faith and dedication; The Suzanne Furstner Foundation and Iglesia de Cristo in Cusco for making our Christmas holiday possible.

    5) The 18 student and professional volunteers from around the world that contributed their talents to MU this year: Annie Matthews, Elisse, Lauryn, Ian, Linda, Lyndsey, Annie Cruickshank, Kelly, Sarah, Robbie, Laura, Chelsie, Suzan, Omar, Jocelyn, Cristina, Mireia and Nicole

    6) A new dedicated 6 member US Board of Directors based in Washington, a highly professional Board of Advisors and numerous great hearted volunteers who will be the backbone for Manos Unidas in 2014.