US Peruvian Groups Form a Coalition in NJ

Representatives of Peruvian organizations met in Paterson, New Jersey. (Photo via Reporte Hispano)

A group of Peruvian organizations agreed in Paterson on May 24 to hold the First Convention of Peruvian Institutions Abroad with the purpose of coordinating and channeling assistance for Peruvians living outside their country.

The coalition defines itself as nonpartisan and primarily seeks to promote valuable and talented Peruvians in the arts, sciences and culture, as well as empower compatriots who choose to participate in politics in the United States at local, state and federal levels.

Coalition President Mario López said that the First Convention will aim to unify Peruvian institutions and reach consensus to achieve objectives shared by Peruvians living in the United States.

“While many of us are sympathetic or are part of political parties or movements, we want to work on that – as some of us in the coalition have opposing views – so we can join forces on behalf of Peru and Peruvians in need,” said López.

The director added that the coalition’s plans include appropriately channeling contributions, donations and [overseeing] initiatives made by Peruvians abroad.

He also said that international aid for countries like Peru has significantly decreased in the last 30 years – both from international governments and organizations and from programs in the United States such as Sister Cities – because of lack of funding.

“We are evaluating a number of experiences to propose to the Peruvian government, including the 3×1 program created by the sister nation of Mexico, in which the state contributes with a percentage of the cost while migrant organizations cover the rest,” said López.

He pointed out that the coalition delivered “all of $12,000” donated by the Peruvian community last year when their country’s coast was flooded due to the El Niño climate phenomenon. The funds were collected through a bank account set up by the Peruvian embassy in the United States to be managed by Peru’s National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI, in Spanish).

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The coalition will soon announce the date of the convention.

Peruvian activist Nelly Celi said at the meeting that the coalition is already registered as a nonprofit in Trenton and obtained its tax-exempt status as mandated by the law of New Jersey.

Celi was chosen to lead the Statutory Committee, which will be in charge of creating the bylaws that will govern the organization. Its other members are Martha Anci, Gisella Olazábal, Roman Vonkomarnicki and Luis Aguilar. They have one month – until June 29 – to submit a proposal of the rules.

The people who attended the meeting honored the memory of Humberto Bazán, Rita Milla and Humberto Cassareto by holding a moment of silence.

Among the organizations forming the coalition are: Harrison-based Peruvians United, the Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre Institute, Young People of the Future of New Jersey, Our Way to HOPE, ED Sowing Hope, Peruvian Civic of Newark, and Peruvian Parade Inc.

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