live well. give well.


Focus: child education and community development

Location: Urubamba (Sacred Valley) near Cusco, Peru

the local hero

The name of the project and of the Charity refers to the Rainbow: "Arco Iris" in Spanish and "Kuychi" in Quechua, the ancient Indian language still spoken in the Andes.  Heléna van Engelen, a Dutch national, changed the course of her life by putting it to the service of the forgotten children of Peru. She went to Urubamba at the end of 2001 to build a centre in the Sacred Valley near Cusco where deprived children from the surrounding communities can live and learn. The central point of her mission is to give these children a home and a future.

The project tries to help by offering a total program to children, their parents and other members of the community in and around Urubamba.

  1. Day Center - school education, medical care, psychosocial guidance and a warm meal are offered to around 100 children from the valley. The children’s parents are integrated as much as possible through evening educational classes for example or health camps.  The Medical and Dental Centre gives 19.000 treatments per year.

  2. Cetpro (Centro Educacional Productivo) - government certified, this program allows young adults to acquire a skill and diplomas in Carpentry, Hotel/Reception/English, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Seamstress and Information Technology.  The program began in 2005 and so far over 90% of all graduates have found employment.  There are around 100 adolescents enrolled in the program.

  3. Home and Family - Helena is also the foster mother of 17 Peruvian children who had been living in the streets.  Together Helena and her family live on the grounds of the Niños del Arco Iris compound.

  4. Cooperativa Urubambina - Helena works with a group of mother’s who are taught traditional (artesan) handicraft production which they now export

Visit Kuychi’s Website here.

their neighbor

The project focuses on offering a future to extremely deprived children who are exposed to many risks as a result of great poverty. This poverty leads to alcoholism (industrial alcohol) and broken families. Add to this the lack of hygiene, medical care, food, schooling and above all love and you have the causes of the terrible predicament of Peruvian children and young people.

your philanthropic opportunity

Kuychi/Niños del Arco Iris is the poster child of a charitable organization: it helps those who cannot help themselves onto a path of health, wholeness and independence. The children that leave the center usually enter the labor force and can start caring for their own families and future generations. Kuychi/Niños del Arco Iris is financed by a Foundation of the same name which is operated by Volunteers; therefore all donations are passed on 100% to the charity and directly impact the children.

You can support Kuychi/Niños del Arco Iris through a monetary donation or by staying in the hotel attached to the compound.  There are six private bungalows, fully equipped with fireplaces, handmade furniture and big terraces which run into a wild flower garden. It is a perfect retreat on a visit to Machu Picchu.


niños del arco iris



niños del arco iris - kuychi

urubamba (sacred valley), peru

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