Who We Are

Our Mission

The Light and Leadership Initiative’s mission is to respond to the needs of the women in the Ate-Vitarte district of Lima, Peru, in their struggle out of poverty by improving the availability and quality of education offered to women and children. Through workshops and classes, women are empowered to better care for themselves and their families by improving both their physical and emotional well-being and advancing their skills in the workforce. Children are offered similar opportunities and learn the value of education and respect for one’s community. We believe the women and children of the Ate-Vitarte district will become positive leaders for change through love, support, and education.


Our Story


Lara DeVries, our Founder, visited Huaycán for the first time and started conversations with community members, who expressed the need for more high quality and accessible educational opportunities.


The Light and Leadership Inititaive established itself as a 501(c)3 U.S. non-profit registered for educational purposes.


LLI’s first educational after-school program to kids in Huaycán.


LLI starts offering educational programs for kids, teens, and women in Huaycán.


LLI launched its first online educational programs for kids and women.


Many years later, and with 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 nex 16,000!

Our Impact

Free educational workshops to women in Huaycán

New volunteers welcomed

Women obtained their certificate on finances and computation with LLI in the last years

People received academic support

Leadership workshops for teens in the community

Free classes

Our Team

María Llanos Martell

Executive Director

Aranza Ballesteros Maza

Kids Program Coordinator

Jacqueline Chui Altamirano

Mujeres Emprendedoras Project Coordinator – Women’s Program

Enriqueta Taipe Meza

Caretaker & Housekeeping

Yeni Delgado Sanchez

Programs Support

Milagros Lecaros Bustamante


Our Interns 

Carmen Serrano Amaut

Mujeres Emprendedoras Project Assistant

Portrait of Rosario Atau Marquez

Rosario Atau Marquez

Marketing Communications Assistant

Our Board of Directors

Javier Janik

President and Treasurer

Julie Rios


Sarah Renkert


Our Founder

Lara DeVries