Join us for closing ceremonies

March of 2025 will be our final month as a nonprofit, and we’re celebrating the successful conclusion of our mission as Niños del Sol. We’d love for you to join us!

Read more: Join us for closing ceremonies

The Closing Ceremony

Ceremony and rituals are an important part of Peruvian culture, and it only makes sense to mark this occasion in some way. We’re not sure of all the details yet, but here’s what we know, so you can mark your calendars and consider traveling to join us!

The ceremony will take place February 22-23, 2025 in the Sacred Valley (Urubamba or Yucay, they’re very near each other)

We could not have reached this milestone without your help. We’d love to have as many of our donors, friends, and supporters present for this transition as possible.

The Retreat

We’ll also offer a 3- or 4-day retreat before the ceremony, for anyone who’d like to attend. The retreat might include: Breema, Kundalini Yoga, dance, a short version of vision quest and for those that are more adventurous a Wachuma or a Mushroom ceremony. We can also offer a Gratitude Despacho ceremony.

Interested in attending?

Sign up here and we’ll keep you up to date by email as the plans develop.

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10 Years as Niños del Sol

When Mama Kia first founded the organization, as Casa de Milagros, she imagined it to be on ongoing venture. But when Kia passed away in 2010, the current organization took over with the new mission of keeping the existing family together and raising them to adulthood.

And we have! It’s so rare for a nonprofit to have a clear, attainable objective and be able to declare its mission complete.

What the new team, led by Viviana Martinez and Avishai Pearlson, has accomplished under the Niños del Sol name is amazing. Here’s a quick rundown on what I’ve witnessed as board chair these past 10 years:

  • Moved the family to a much more comfortable home
  • Enhanced that home every year with organic gardens, painted murals, and more
  • Improved the kids’ nutrition dramatically (our younger kids are significantly taller than their older siblings because of the change in nutrition)
  • Provided private education suitable for each child’s unique needs
  • Established a semi-independent home in Cusco to support the high school grads to pursue higher education
  • Enriched the kids’ lives with education in languages, music, organic gardening, and more
  • Created a tradition of annual trips to bond as a family and connect with their culture.
  • Provided opportunities for several of the youth to volunteer in Israel
  • Taught the kids mindfulness, gratitude, and interpersonal skills to support them in their adult lives.
  • Demonstrated that all things are possible to them if they work hard and don’t let go of dreams.
  • Most of our youths are the first in their families to complete college or university.

A couple of the younger kids will still need housing and support after March of 2025, and we’re still working on solving those issues. But the majority are ready to tackle their new adult lives, armed with superior education, language skills, and a great outlook on life.

Our Global Family (that’s YOU!)

We couldn’t have done any of this without the support of a loving Global Family of donors.

For those who don’t know the history— when Mama Kia passed away, the program lost virtually ALL it’s financial support.

For a while, there was a man named John (he prefers to remain anonymous) who supported the entire program himself, donating thousands of dollars from his own pocket every month.

That wasn’t sustainable, and eventually, he had to start withdrawing his support. At first, it looked like the program wouldn’t survive. Our expenses were around $8,000 a month, and our income was around $2500. Viviana and Avishai worked without salaries for a long time, drawing income from other sources wherever they could. We racked up debts.

But as we reached out to our community, we built a base of donors that has kept us going (and even growing a bit) over the last 10 years. Most of our money comes from monthly donations of around $25, but it’s been consistent for the most part. Combined with a few larger gifts from generous donors, it’s been enough.

We think our donors are unique and special. Most of you have visited the Casa and feel connected to the kids in some way. All of you have been supportive of our efforts to go above and beyond what most Children’s Homes do — even though what we envisioned had a much higher cost per child.

You’ve supported enrichment, private education, travel, entrepreneurship, and university where most homes are simply putting the kids on cots and giving them three meals a day until they turn 18. The results speak for themselves.

When we’ve had to ask for additional funds — whether it was to meet expenses or to take the youth to see the Nazca Lines — you’ve come through every time. Your communications with our staff have been uplifting and kept us going during some very rough times.

That’s why we want you to celebrate with us at our Closing Ceremony!

Jim Cronk: Meet Our First-Ever Legacy Donor

Jim Cronk is a remarkable man with a long history of connection with Peru and with Ninos del Sol. He’s recently named us as heirs in his will, along with other nonprofits he’s encountered in Peru. It’s so touching and meaningful to be thought of in this way, and we couldn’t be more honored.

I wanted to share some details with you about this exceptional man and his heartwarming gift.

Continue reading “Jim Cronk: Meet Our First-Ever Legacy Donor”
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