Please visit the above link for information regarding a medical mission sponsored by The Luz Fund to the hometown of Luz and her family in Juanjui Peru.


Welcome and many thanks for visiting the weblog of Luz Estephanie Machiavello del Castillo. Luz will be returning to Tampa during the Christmas holidays in 2010. We expect her to be arriving on Christmas Day. Her first appointment at Shriners for 2011 will be in January. There is a good possibility that Luz' Mom, Enith, may also accompany her. Luz has grown since we last saw her in March 2010. Hilmer has said that she is excelling in school. Please take note of the article below on the right to see how you can help make her visit more comfortable. You will be able to see updates on Luz and her progress as she proceeds along the path that will again enable her to grow in the confidence and stature of a beautiful little girl. Stay tuned.

Please remember that posts are listed in reverse order with new posts at the top of the page. To read older posts you need to scroll down the page.

*Click on photos for a larger view

Monday, April 12, 2010

Here and Gone

Gosh that was a fast visit. Luz is back home in Juanjui, Peru, as I write this. Enith and Luz left Friday and arrived in Lima Saturday AM. Met by Eliana Morla, they then boarded a flight to Tarapoto where Dad, Hilmer, was waiting.
Luz' visit, though short, was very successful. She now has a new prosthesis which is just a little different from her old one. She had some intense therapy sessions with Carmen Aranda at Shriners, and both Luz and Enith stayed at Shriners as in-patients for her last 1 1/2 weeks here.
After a "Going Home" dinner at La Septima Restaurant in Brandon, Luz and Enith had one last night with Nestor and Isabel Salazar, their hosts for this year. Too early, I picked them up Friday for the drive to Tampa Airport.
We are hoping to advance their visit next year so that she does not lose any time from school. The school year in Peru is opposite from the US and the annual break is in December. So we are looking forward to her visit in December or first week in January. Maybe a Christmas gift?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Luz Arrives 2010

A year has passed since she was last in Tampa. Luz has grown but is still the sometimes bashful, sometimes assertive little girl that left us last March. Luz and her Mom, Enith, will be staying with friends in Valrico while keeping appointments at Shriners Hospital. Luz and her friend, Veronica met again after a years absence, although both live in Peru.
In photo at right, at Tampa International Airport, Veronica and her Mom, Ynes(on left) Luz and her Mom, Enith(on right) Nestor Salazar,(in rear) Luz and Enith's host family, and yours truly. Happy days are here again.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Luz' 2010 Visit

A few of the latest photos from Hilmer taken in Juanjui, Peru, Luz' home. The boat is a major form of transportation around Juanjui. Luz has always loved to dance. The sound of music starts her moving. Also one with her nephew.

Luz has grown and is headed back to Brandon/Tampa for her annual appointment at Shriners Hospital. Several of us will be in Juanjui from Jan 16 thru Jan 24. Luz and her Mom, Enith, will accompany us on the return trip. We expect her time in Brandon this year will be rather short, possibly as little as three weeks. Hopefully she will be here over Valentines Day.

I promise to bring a load of photos when I return and will try to post some here. Many thanks for the continued support of Luz.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Gone Again

By the time you read this Luz and Hilmer are
back home in Peru. So we start the wait all over again until their next visit, likely late 2009. There were no tears this year, at least not on the surface.

With both Luz and Veronica gone it gets kind of lonely sometimes. But our loneliness will soon be alleviated. With the help of Eliana and others we may soon be in a position to assist others, like Luz and Veronica to gain the help they need. We will soon publish an additional blog regarding the mission of The Luz Foundation. The website address will be published here and in emails. If you wish to receive the information please use the comment link at the bottom of this post.

Because this may be last post specifically about Luz for this year, we decided to post some photos about her time in Tampa this year. Meeting, and living together has brought out, not only the competitiveness of both girls, but also their compassionate side and their feelings of closeness to each other. We see this everyday and also in some of the photos presented here.

Both girls have dreams of the future. Luz wants to become a doctor for children. Veronica wants to become a teacher. Both have exhibited a strong desire and the ability to learn. Hilmer says that Luz does excellent work in school. Veronica has not attended school for several years but exhibits the intelligence and learning ability of an older child. I am sure it will not take long for her to catch up.

Advance education in Peru, as in many countries, has been much easier for boys to acquire than for girls. However, we have made some contacts recently that may hold the promise of an advance university education for both Luz and Veronica, if they desire.

Trying to eat a chocolate cupcake.

With Dahlia and Ron Fernandez at La Septima Restaurant.

An exciting Sunday at Coquina Key.

So until we meet again next year, same time, same place, Adios.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's a Small World after all.

Three years ago in 2006, Maria and Herbert Espinoza were visiting Lima, Peru. While watching local TV there was a story about a little girl from Juanjui, a small village in the Amazon region of Peru, who was run over by a motorcycle taxi and severely injured. The child was brought to Los Ninos Hospital in Lima but because of the long journey, 14 hours, her right arm could not be saved and required amputation. That little girl was Luz.

Maria and Herbert remembered that TV story and, although they had never met Luz, thought about her often through the years. Fast forward to December 24, Christmas Eve 2008. Luz arrives at Tampa International Airport to start her current treatment and rehab at Shriners Hospital. The first week in February, Tampa's Bay News 9, tapes a short story about Luz and broadcasts it on their spanish language station. Guess who was watching? Yes, Maria and Herbert again watched a TV story about a little girl from the jungles of Peru. But this time things would be different. The next day Maria and Herbert drove to Shriners expecting to visit Luz. They were told her appointment was the following day. So they went home and came back again the next day. They were waiting in the lobby when we walked in the door. They walked up to us and said, "This must be Luz". Although they had never met, it seemed like a family reunion when we heard the story. Now Maria and Herbert are like an extended family.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monday is for Veronica

It has been a busy weekend. Saturday saw many hours spent at the annual Gasparilla parade in Tampa. For the second time in a week the girls were the recipients of a kaleidescope of colored beads. After the parade it was back home and a visit from Gerry and John Pearce who drove in from Jacksonville to visit Luz and Veronica. Gerry and John have been exceptional supporters of the girls and their families. A late but great dinner at La Septima Restaurant in Brandon and a visit from Ron Fernandez, owner of La Septima, finished the day.

A fairly quiet Sunday saw church services with Linda at Bell Shoals and then a relaxing day getting ready for Shriners. Veronica and Ynes will be spending the next two weeks there for some intensive therapy. Visit Veronica's blog for more information at:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Finished at Shriners

Luz had her last appointment, for this visit, at Shriners last week. Her surgery site has healed and she will start wearing her re-adjusted prosthesis. Too soon she and Hilmer will head home to Peru until this time next year. Luz best friend, Veronica, will spend the next two weeks at Shriners for some extensive therapy. Then both girls will head home. Kathy and Angel from Channel 9 stopped by to take some video that was aired this past week. We thank them for the exposure. However, the next two weeks will be exciting with the Gasparilla Invasion and the State Fair. Mom and Dad will likely be happy to return to the relative quiet of Amazon and the Andes.