How it started

The Los Cachorros foundation was founded by Alanya Santa Cruz, originally Peruvian and adopted by Dutch parents. Alanya grew up in a Brabant village, but never really felt at home in the Netherlands. When she was fifteen she walked away from home and wandered through Utrecht for three years, where she ended up in the homeless circuit. Together with other former homeless people, she set up the Utrecht Night Care in Self-Management (NOIZ), with which institution she worked as a coordinator.

In the summer of 2000 Alanya, together with seven other adopted Peruvian youths and their Dutch family, made a so-called ‘roots trip’ to Peru. She felt right at home in her homeland and at the sight of all poverty and the many street children she decided to change her life, by going for the homeless and homeless children. She chose to settle in Ayacucho, her hometown. As in many Peruvian cities, there are countless children who, for various reasons, do not have a roof over their heads. The situation in Ayacucho is all the more horrendous: this city has been deprived for years because it was the home of the terrorist group Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso).

After arriving home in the Netherlands, Alanya founded the Los Cachorros foundation on 28 September 2000 and started the preparatory work. In 2002 she returned to Peru, and on 29 May 2003 the night care was officially opened in the presence of the Mayor of Ayacucho. Since 2006, Los Cachorros has been offering integrated help to street children. In various phases we guide children and young people from the street to reintegration with family or independent living. Los Cachorros offers help through street work, shelter, psychosocial support, education and information.