La Casa de Panchita
When Elena turned 10, she was sent to Lima to “help out” at a relative’s home. She cleaned the house, cooked and took care of the children but she was treated as “the help”, not as family. Elena was allowed to go to school a few hours a day, but after she finished all her household duties she barely had time to sleep at night, and no time at all to do school homework. She remembers how much her employer yelled at her and how she was ashamed of talking about it with others. When she was 14, Elena started attending La Casa de Panchita. With us, she learned how to speak for herself, she worked hard to improve her Spanish reading and writing skills and improved her grades at school.
La Casa de Panchita was founded in 1989 because girls like Elena still arrive in Lima from the poverty of the Andes and work late into the night cooking, cleaning and caring for children, just to earn their room and board. We are helping break through a legacy of poverty and servitude passed from mother to daughter because of lack of opportunity and education.
I am writing to you now because La Casa de Panchita is facing a crisis which threatens our existence and our ability to help girls like Elena. Our landlord is selling the building we work in. Our choices are stark: we either close our doors or we continue to expand our impact by taking the leap to purchase our “casa”, the location of our services, our radio program and the “home away from home” for hundreds of domestic workers of all ages who are working as hired help.
To secure the $ 450,000 needed to buy our building, La Casa de Panchita is launching a special fundraising campaign from January 20 through June 30th, 2015, when the purchase must to be finalized.
For further information and ways to donate, please visit
President of the Board, La Casa de Panchita – Asociación Grupo de Trabajo Redes