Laureate Impact

Dedication to Your Country and its People

UPC graduate, Estefanie Renteria began her marketing career in one of Peru’s largest organizations, but soon realized she enjoyed volunteer work more, and quit her corporate job just two months before the pandemic hit. Estefanie took on freelance work to get by, while volunteering at Juguete Pendiente, a non-profit organization that develops and manages a wide range of social projects that improve the quality of life for Peru’s most at-risk communities.

Her volunteer work at Juguete Pendiente aligned with her interests – having volunteered with her family as a young child. “Since my time in school, volunteering has been a way for me to serve communities, that has allowed me to understand different people’s realities,” Estefanie says.

In 2017, volunteering became a permanent part of Estefanie’s life. While studying at UPC, she started a free news platform, along with three friends, delivering positive news to people of Lima. Via Expresa, which was supported by UPC’s Business Incubator Program, went on to grow a team of 50 volunteers (Estefanie managed 21 volunteers) and the news platform ran for three years.

Today, she is a Partner and the Chief Marketing Officer at Juguete Pendiente, which has helped more than 650,000 families through more than 700 social impact initiatives in 20 states across the country, mobilizing more than 200 volunteers. Juguete Pendiente’s programs include:

  • Community support responding to social needs in impoverished communities. For example, helping build soccer fields, community libraries, and playgrounds in parks, and training locals in building and technical skills, utilizing their labor to develop the infrastructure.
  • Humanitarian aid urgently responding to natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, fires) or health emergencies, bringing aid to vulnerable populations, with support of public and private sectors, academia and other social organizations. Outside of natural disasters, each month, Juguete Pendiente sends a team of six to very remote areas of the country to provide humanitarian aid (they travel to these regions via Peru’s air force).
  • Entrepreneurship delivering programs and mentoring on entrepreneurship to people living in vulnerable communities.
  • Education running the first sustainable classroom on wheels in Peru, delivering environmental education to students across the country (in a classroom bus), who learn about challenges from recirculating rain water to sustainable buildings and the importance of biodiversity.

A program Estefanie is particularly proud of and one she helped develop in 2020 is Juguete Pendiente’s food program, which supports communities living in extreme poverty that cannot cover the cost of basic food. The program provides food and cooking equipment such as stoves, gas cylinders (to avoid cooking with contaminated wood), pots and kitchen utensils for ‘common pots’ cooking. Common pots are the main sustenance of food for hundreds of thousands of Peruvians living in poverty, where meals are cooked in large pots for an entire neighborhood.

In addition, community leaders – mostly women – are trained by Juguete Pendiente about management, entrepreneurship, and nutrition to help improve their skills to manage the ‘common pots’ community cooking, strengthening their capacity and competency and their community’s long-term sustainability.

The program commenced in Lima and now runs in nine states across the country. It has delivered more than 10 million food rations and essential products to people in need.

In 2022, Estefanie won a UPC Protagonists of Change award for her work in promoting the cooking pots program. This UPC awards program promotes young change makers in Peru and provides them with training to help strengthen their social innovations.

In addition to her work at Juguete Pendiente, Estefanie is a member of the Global Shapers Community (Lima hub), an initiative of the World Economic Forum where young global leaders around the world under the age of 30 work collaboratively to address the needs of their local communities (addressing issues related to the environment, mental health, citizenship and education, among others). Estefanie is in charge of engagement, managing events that keep the Global Shapers network connected.

While this incredible young woman is dedicating her life to serving some of Peru’s most impoverished communities, she holds great optimism for the future of her people. When asked about what’s ahead for Juguete Pendiente (in the long term), Estefanie says: “My dream is that one day, our organization no longer exists, because the issues and problems we have worked to address will have been solved.”

“My dream is that one day, our organization no longer exists, because the issues and problems we have worked to address will have been solved.”
Estefanie Rentería
UPC graduate

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