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The Non-Profit Sol y Luna Foundation Celebrates

25 Years of Providing Education & Housing for

Cusco’s Disadvantaged Children 

Sacred Valley, Peru (April 30, 2024): The Sol y Luna Foundation, located in the Sacred Valley of Cusco, celebrates over 25 years of providing love, care, and education to children from Peru’s most poverty-stricken communities. It has become one of Peru’s shining examples of social impact tourism, bridging the needs of its most vulnerable communities and its most valuable international appeals, Machu Picchu and the larger Cusco region. Petit Miribel and Franz Schilter, who moved to Urubamba in the 1990s, founded the non-profit in 1998 and have been dedicated to supporting education in the Sacred Valley ever since. 


“You might look at the rural houses in the Sacred Valley and think life there must be simple, even idyllic. However, the harsh reality is that all too often, extreme poverty breeds violence, alcoholism, and abuse. With no sense of hope, the light goes out in children’s eyes. At Sol y Luna, we create positive change by giving two things that all children deserve: love and education,” shares Petit Miribel, founder of the Sol y Luna Foundation. 

In the foundation's early years, education and safety for children coming from backgrounds of extreme poverty were immediate priorities: making a small but meaningful impact while learning the community’s needs and earning their trust and confidence. The financial support to make these efforts possible meant leveraging the Sacred Valley’s potential for tourism, and in 2000, Petit and Franz opened the award-winning Hotel Sol y Luna, set on 25 garden-filled acres, within walking distance from the foundation’s first classroom. Today, it is a Relais & Châteaux member that encompasses 43 casitas and two restaurants showcasing contemporary Peruvian cuisine. 

With new funding available, the foundation dreamt of bigger ambitions, recognizing the dire need for a permanent institution for education and housing for Cusco’s most vulnerable children. In 2009, the foundation launched the Sol y Luna Intercultural School, which today accepts 163 students from ages 3 to 17 and from 20 different rural and disadvantaged communities, providing them with an education and the tools to build a brighter future. Once students graduate, they can advance to the foundation’s Roots & Wings program, which was launched in 2019. This further education program supports these graduates in their ongoing studies covering education fees and living costs, and provides any support they may need, be it financial or emotional. 

The foundation would later go on to develop three additional projects fully financed by the hotel’s profits and generous contributions from guests, friends, and benefactors. In 2015, Paqari was developed to provide education and therapy for children with different abilities, as well as their unique physical and mental needs. The word Paqari means “rebirth” in Quechua, which is precisely what the school aims to achieve for these children and their families. These students receive special academic education, psychological counseling, and social support.

In 2018, the foundation worked towards a new mission to help these children grow and teach them what a true, safe, and loving home looks like. They opened The Sol y Luna Home, which provides shelter and a loving environment for 19 children who have faced abuse and neglect and cannot live with their families.  

To support the foundation and its efforts, travelers can book a stay at the Sol y Luna Hotel during a trip to Cusco on their journey to Machu Picchu or the Sacred Valley. Another way to support the foundation from afar is through direct donations and sponsoring children, which provides them with funding for their education and school supplies at the Sol y Luna School, healthcare services, clothing, food, and more. For more information, visit

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About Sol y Luna Foundation: 
Founded in Cusco’s Sacred Valley in 1998, the Sol y Luna Foundation has dedicated the last two decades to alleviating extreme poverty in Peru’s rural communities by providing love, care, and education to its most disadvantaged families. The foundation consists of the Sol y Luna Intercultural School, Paqari for special needs support, the Sol y Luna Home, and Roots & Wings for further education. Sol y Luna enrolls 163 students while providing housing for 21, which is made possible through private donations and profits from the Sol y Luna Hotel.

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