The association Ser Tacna was formed by a group of young people and professionals in 2005 in the city of Tacna, Peru.
Equine-assisted therapy (EAT) is a therapy that compliments existing treatments by using the horse as a means to improve the quality of life of people with physical disabilities, psychological impairments, sensory integration issues, who suffer from mental illness or who have difficulty in social situations. EAT complements traditional treatment methods and can help participants set and reach new goals. In our work we see the joy the children derive from knowing they can depend on their horse guide and how EAT helps reduce the anxiety they sometimes experience about participating in conventional therapy and treatment methods.
The horses are our greatest allies and 70% of our child participants receive EAT as part of their Ser Tacna intervention plan. The intervention for each client is carefully designed and subsequently evaluated by doctors, therapists, psychologists, and physical therapists. While most of our clients are children, our larger client base includes children, adolescents and adults with disabilities such as down syndrome, autism, spinal injuries, hemiplegia, etc.
About half of our clients come from low income families who have to live on approximately $5 a day and who often travel long distances with their children in order to receive treatment. It is important for us to highlight their sacrifices and hardship because our efforts would be in vain without their mutual efforts. Every smile a child gifts us is the result of relentless work that involves tears, encouragement and love. All of our workers can attest to this.
Currently we rely on a handful of professionals and volunteers who come from around the world to assist us. We also count on the two horses that work arduously with our children. We are looking for a third horse who can help alleviate the burden of our tired friends. The cost of maintaining our facilities is high and the economic contributions of our families is almost voluntary, making us appreciate whatever support we receive to continue our work.
We met Omar in the summer of 2012. He quickly became part of the group of people who support and advocate for our mission, helping us in any way he could. Omar recently moved to Richmond, Virginia and has promised to donate 10% of his net profits from every event he photographs. We will personally reach out to each client to let them know how much money we received as a result of their patronage, letting them know how we used these funds and thanking them for assisting us in our mission to serve others.
If you are interested in learning more about our work, receiving testimonials from our clients and workers, or getting involved with and further assisting our project please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to talk with you further.
Leticia Palacio Salas