Juliaca is a city in southern Peru and the capital of San Roman Province. It’s a busy transit hub for tourists heading for the Andean Lake with Inca ruins nearby - Lake Titicaca. Juliaca is also the financial capital of the Puno region.
But there is a darker side to the city: Juliaca is at the heart of the smuggling business. It’s estimated that 60% of Juliaca’s population are involved in the illegal smuggling of goods at the border.
Since 2009, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Juliaca.
Around 50% of the population of the region where Juliaca is located are living in poverty. This refers not only to income poverty, but also to other aspects such as lack of access to basic services.
The situation is particularly bad in rural areas where many children and young people are growing up without electricity or sanitation. Up to 70% of the population here has very basic, or even no, access to services.
As many of these families struggle to make ends meet, children are often forced to drop out of school. They need to contribute to the family income by helping with farming and in the home.
For many children and young people, violence is a part of life in Peru. Violence in the community, at school or at home.
Although there are many attempts to raise awareness about the effects that violence has on children, violence at home is still frequent. This refers to physical or emotional punishments. As children get older and take on more responsibilities and chores around the home the violence tends to increase.
More needs to be done to raise awareness, and parents need to be offered support, so that all children can grow up in a safe environment.