Welwyn Garden City woman fundraising to build Peruvian family a new home

PUBLISHED: 17:08 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 17:08 26 February 2014

Holly Blake with an illustration she is hoping to raise money from

Holly Blake with an illustration she is hoping to raise money from


With house prices on the increase, £3,500 would not stretch very far in Welwyn Hatfield, but an illustrator from Welwyn Garden City is attempting to build a home in Peru for exactly that amount.

Luis, Holly Blake and JeusLuis, Holly Blake and Jeus

Seven years ago Holly Blake travelled to Peru after graduating from university hoping to do voluntary work and learn Spanish.

While she was there, in a shanty town 20 minutes outside of the South American country’s capital city Lima, she befriended two young boys, Jesus and Luis, who lived in a house “made of plastic and cardboard tied around an old bedstead”.

With the help of several friends, Holly built them a wooden house to live in with their mother.

Next month she will go back and try and give them a more permanent structure.

The family's old home on the edge of the cliffThe family's old home on the edge of the cliff

The 30-year-old told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “I want to build them a better home that gives them the privacy and sanitation that many of us take for granted.

“My New Year’s resolution this year is to return and complete this project, so I’m funding my own return to Peru in March to make this dream a reality.”

Over the years the Heronswood Road resident and the two boys, who are now 14 and 16, lost touch. But last summer they were reunited on Facebook and she is now hoping to raise £3,500 to complete her project.

So far she has raised £1,250 selling limited edition illustrations.

Luis, Juana and JeusLuis, Juana and Jeus

“I’m a bit nervous about going back,” she said. “But I am trying to improve my Spanish.”

To donate to Holly’s cause, visit www.gofundme.com/4f1lzg

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