Quechua Benefit first came into contact with Yodi Heylan Quipse Cruz at an orphanage for boys in Puno, Peru. The charity was working to arrange the adoption of his sister Mirian by Paul and Lindy Huber of Frankfort, Kentucky. Mirian lived at the Musqa Runa girls orphanage, which is sponsored by Quechua Benefit and located in Macusani, Peru at 15,400 feet above sea level. Peruvian law requires that all the living relatives of an adopter to be contacted prior to adoption. Yodi and Mirian’s mother was an alcoholic who died shortly after Mirian was born. Yodi was 14 at the time. Their father died shortly thereafter from a severe infection. Quechua Benefit quickly learned from the priests in Puno that Yodi was a bright responsible boy who was a positive influence on the younger children at the orphanage. Yodi dreamed of being a computer engineer.
The problem was Yodi was graduating from high school and the priests said he must leave the orphanage. He had nowhere to go.
Quechua Benefit stepped in, found a family in Arequipa to take him. Yodi found a job at a local internet café and the charity paid for a college preparatory course in computers. Yodi flourished and upon completing his courses Quechua gave him a scholarship to the University in Arequipa. Painfully shy at 19 years old when he first entered school, he is flourishing both at school and socially. This summer, his sister will return to Peru to visit Yodi for the first time since being adopted and moving to the United States. Both are worlds apart from the desperate circumstances that only a few years ago made hope hard to feel.
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