In 2002, at the age of 71, Sonia Newhouse decided to leave her life in England and move to Peru. She began her adventure by dedicating five years to volunteering in Cusco, where she lived and worked closely with the people of the Sacred Valley. While she formed meaningful relationships with the locals, Sonia began to recognized the presence of issues such as malnutrition, and domestic violence. Sonia couldn't stand to see these issues persist with such little recognition and even less assistance from the international community, so she committed to raise awareness and support for these vulnerable people.
With the success of many of Living Heart Peru’s initiatives came more publicity and more requests for help. In 2013 Sonia decided to finally retire and continue a peaceful life out of Peru and passed the leadership of Living Heart Peru on to Io Sophia Gillhuber, who maintains the organization’s commitment to helping people to help themselves while respecting their self-identified needs, visions and desires. We believe firmly in the potential of the people in the remote Andes to overcome adversity and we are here to help them however we can.