Nathan Beninger (centre) is hosting a documentary night to raise funds for his Pura Vida Foundation which aims to help young girls who are suffering in Peru.

Pura Vida hosts documentary night to fundraise for foundation

The Pura Vida Foundation is hosting a documentary night to raise money for a shelter to support abandoned and severely abused girls in Peru.

The Pura Vida Foundation is hosting a documentary night to raise money for a shelter to support abandoned and severely abused girls in Peru.

Three years ago the foundation’s Nathan Beninger started making a documentary about a little Peruvian boy with one leg — Ricardo’s Story. The filmmaker spent two weeks in the community in which the boy lived documenting his struggles.

“I thought this was an interesting story to tell,” said Beninger, a photographer by trade who first went to Peru to capture its natural beauty. Instead, he became captivated by the struggles of that country’s poor and what he could do help.

Ricardo’s story is common. His family lives in extreme poverty with food not available for several days at a time. His father abuses rubbing alcohol. Still, school is very important and Ricardo’s mother carries him there. For him, it’s a four-hour round trip.

Beninger revisited story this year as students at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario fitted the boy with a prosthetic leg.

“The film’s second part is awesome. It shows him running around for the first time, playing soccer,” he said. “It was gratifying to see something such a positive change for this boy. I really did something cool for this kid’s life.”

Positive change is something Beninger works for at the expense of luxuries in his own life. It’s often a hard sacrifice considering the work is, at times, very dark.

“People give me a hard time because this stuff is so depressing,” he said. “These kids were born and their live’s paths were set at birth. Here we are changing that path.”

While Beninger filmed Ricardo’s Story, he came across the property eventually purchased as a site for a bigger shelter he intends to build to house more young girls needing help.

Since 2009, Beninger has been helping a half dozen girls in a smaller shelter in Cusco where he lives with his wife and their young child.

“With the girls we have in the shelter, it’s super gratifying because you get to see the change you are making,” he said.

The documentary night will include a short film made on the work the foundation is doing through their shelter and the dire need for more space.

“We’ve told the social workers hundreds of times that we have no more space, but they still bring us kids and it’s really hard to say no. I’m not going to say no to an 11-year-old kid that’s been forced into prostitution for the last year… if she’s not going to stay with us, I know where she’s going to go and it just makes be feel so bad,” said Beninger.

A Freeride Entertainment film called Through Their Eyes about several girls from a shelter’s first trip to Machu Picchu will also be shown.

The documentary night will be held at the Prestige on Friday, September 20. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the films start showing at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nelson outdoor photo exhibit reflects physically distanced life

Portraits of a Pandemic runs until Oct. 15 at Lakeside Park

West Kootenay mother searching for son missing since Sept. 1

Police are investigating the disappearance of Cory Westcott

CBC host to discuss the future of libraries

Nelson library hosts an online event with Nora Young Oct. 6

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

From The Heart, a next chapter in Kootenay youth making a difference

Andrea Mann talks about the follow up to last year’s project

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Lumber hitting record high prices due to low supply and high demand

B.C.’s forest industry hasn’t been able to keep pace with the COVID-19 building boom

‘Monkey Beach’ supernatural film adaptation premiers at VIFF

Based on Kitamaat author Eden Robinson’s debut, mystical novel

Most Read