Our Story

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LLI began as a collaborative effort between Huaycán locals and U.S. citizens. In 2007, Lara DeVries visited Huaycán for the first time, meeting with a local family. Upon returning to the United States, she began paperwork to found the Light and Leadership Initiative. 

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Based on research including a subsequent visit in 2008 to speak with community members in Huaycán, it became clear education was the priority and the highest need for community members. Thus in 2008, the Light and Leadership Initiative established itself as a 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit, registered for educational purposes.   

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In June 2009, LLI's first educational programs were offered to kids afterschool and on the weekends. We started with English, art and physical education classes, thanks to the help of local and international volunteers. These programs are still offered today! 

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Many years later, and many challenges and triumphs, LLI is still going strong. We've now offered over 16,000 classes to women, children and teens... and we always look forward to the next 16,000!