Cristian Johnston and Rosita del Pilar Johnston Alvan
Cristian Johnston was adopted at the age of four from the Aldea Infantil Virgen del Pilar, an orphanage in the San Martin Department of Peru, back in 2000. Eighteen years later, Cristian returned to explore his roots and was inspired to give back to his community of origin. The Peruvian Outreach Project, Inc., or POP, was created to do just that. Initially supported by the Orchard Park Friends Meeting, POP has expanded its outreach, with a mission to enhance the lives of vulnerable children and young adults living in the San Martin Department of Peru.
A graduate of Pembroke High School, Cristian spent months volunteering at the orphanage since that initial trip, teaching English, streamlining the filtration system to improve water quality, building flower beds, and revamping a shuttered bakery that now provides fresh bread. Through fundraising and collaboration, POP added vegetable gardens and provides transportation of food donations to the orphanage weekly. To help with the battle against COVID-19, POP opened a clinic on-site so children and staff can receive timely treatments. Consider supporting POP by shopping during the month of April at Ten Thousand Villages, 736 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14222 or visit our website at peruvianoutreachproject-pop.org .