History of Cáritas Cusco

Cáritas International World Confederation was founded in Rome in 1950, after World War II, by the Catholics from Germany, Spain, and Italy led by Monsignor Montini (known as Pope Paul VI later) to work for social justice through charity.  Its name comes from the First Epistle of John, chapter IV, verse 8, in the Holy Scriptures, the phrase "DEUS CHARITAS EST" which means “GOD IS LOVE.”

Cáritas came to Latin America between 1955 and 1963, created by their respective bishops (today known as National Episcopal Conferences) with encouragement from the international First Secretary of Cáritas -- Monsignor Charles Bayer.  Monsignor was being guided on a continental tour by local bishops, who then showed him the need of Cáritas creation. Peru and Chile were among the first countries to have the presence of the newly created organization.

In 1959, Bishop Juan Landázuri Ricketts, Archbishop of Lima and Primado of Peru, assumed the Presidency under the name of Peru Cáritas.

In Cusco, the history of Cáritas began after the earthquake of 1950 when it became apparent to the Catholic Church that support was needed for the victims of this natural disaster.

Years later, as Cáritas Cusco presence is recognized throughout all the cusquenian towns, and less developed communities of Cuzco for raising support from international organizations.

Originally, the actions of Cáritas Cusco and Bishop Angel Mayorga Mellado were primarily planned to provide clothing, food and medicines to the people in need.  However, they later determined that it was essential to promote greater participation by the people within the communities so that they were no longer only "beneficiaries" but active agents of change and improvement in their communities.  Then they wouldn’t be seen as non-productive and marginalized.

The glow of joy which shone from the faces of the men, women, and children who were now full of hope and faith was a proof that Cáritas Cusco had made a difference working with people to improve the quality of life for many people.

In the second phase, Cáritas Cusco made a situational diagnosis of its actions and paying attention to the Second Vatican Council initiated work organization, training, and planning; stressing the importance of participation of all persons in rural communities.

Cáritas Cusco extended its borders of intervention to areas of extreme poverty, in sectors without opportunities.  Cáritas Cusco brought a light of hope to these areas condemned to a world without future expectations.

The communities further away from Acomayo, Paruro, Paucartambo, and Quispicanchi were given priority by Cáritas Cusco in its third phase.  They searched for potential in family development and to create both temporary and permanent jobs. Currently Cáritas works directly with community organizations which, according to their developmental needs, are strengthened in different areas including organization, food safety, human rights, etc. Thanks to help of Cáritas Cusco!

Our logo: The burning cross

Our logo, used by the worldwide Caritas symbolizes love of the Catholic Church that radiates to everyone, whether Catholic or not, because the love God has for us does not.

Red symbolizes love, strength and passion with which this love is present in the lives of people.

Flames, symbolizing fire and the light that makes its way up in the deepest darkness, and in our department break through the help and solidarity even in communities where there is no more hope that the granting Caritas.