It all began like this…
Lara DeVries, founder of LLI, first visited Peru in 2007 while finishing her senior year of college. During the four months she spent volunteering in Lima, she made a few contacts in Huaycán (where LLI is located) and visited there before returning to the United States. Her first visit to Huaycán was brief, however, it was very clear to Lara the need for educational services and although it’s a bit cliche, she knew she’d be back to Huaycan. There were little opportunities available for children, and even less for women, beyond formal schooling and that alone was not sufficient. Since public schools are overpopulated and understaffed in Huaycán, Lara began developing a strategy to bring after-school and weekend reinforcement educational programming to the community in order combat the problems of low quality education.
Between 2007 – 2008, Lara remained in contact with community members in Hauycán, visited again for further research, filed paperwork upon paperwork and by December 2009, thanks to the support of many, LLI was a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit.
Today, LLI offers more than 60 classes per week to roughly 150 participants, spanning many educational and lower economic levels. Since 2009, LLI has offered over 8,500 classes, investing in the community and in education. We’ve additionally welcomed over 200 volunteers from over 12 countries.
We are so grateful to our dedicated supporters and volunteers in Chicago and all over the world.
(Pictured: Lara DeVries working in one of the first art classes LLI offered in early June 2009)
LLI works with approximately 150 students each week, in over 60 classroom settings. From group classes to private tutoring to events and movie nights, LLI is invested in the future of the Huaycan community. From 2009 to early 2014, we’ve offered over 8,500 classes to women and kids. WOW.
Looking for more? Good, we are too! We’re working on an impact analysis right now and as soon as we have more data, we’ll be sending it your way!