Urpi Wasi means "dovecote" in Quechua and was founded by Barbara Casanova from Obersaxen, Switzerland. Barbara had worked in an orphanage in Cusco as a volunteer for nine years and during the time working there realized that especially single mothers needed more institutional support. She had often witnessed that desperate mothers knocked on the door of the orphanage in order to give their children up for adoption.
Therefore, Barbara created the foundation Urpi Wasi in 1989. Thanks to a generous private benefactor, Mr. Roland Walz from Switzerland (+2003); she was able to construct a building. In September 1990, the daycare opened, followed in 1993 by the officially approved kindergarten.
Ten years later, Barbara was able to add another building and to open the primary school. The school started in 2003 with the first class and added a new grade each following year. Today the entire primary school from 1st to 6th grade is operational.
Since 2008, Urpi Wasi offers a scholarship program to former primary school students, which supports them in secondary school.
Over the years, Urpi Wasi has gradually included more offers in its program, beyond the daycare and school education. Today, the parents can participate in literacy and computer courses and Urpi Wasi runs an in-house bakery.