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Our Mission


Refugio Rafael provides a secure, nurturing environment for families while also providing  community wide opportunities for economic and educational development.  




Refugio Rafael is a non-profit project under the direction of the Allyu Foundation of Bolivia and supported by Global Gallery of Columbus, Ohio.


Allyu Foundation Board Members: Aleida Poma, Edy Crespo, Ernesto Inochea, Connie DeJong, Mario Delgado, and Susan Zavotka

Our Story 

In 2006, the Paredes family of Cochabamba, Bolivia, first introduced themselves to Global Gallery while traveling the United States selling handcrafts to fair trade stores. A few years later, Dr. Connie De Jong, then Global Gallery’s Executive Director, met with the Paredes in Bolivia, visited several Quechua communities and learned about the needs of Bolivian families. The idea of support from Global Gallery was initiated.


During the next 10 years through various fundraising efforts, Global Gallery (under the guidance of Ralph and Connie DeJong) donated funds for construction of a two-unit, family-style home and recreation space, as well as a community building with after-school classrooms and medical clinic. The Paredes family generously donated the land. Volunteers from Cochabamba and the US labored at the site to help with construction.


Today, Refugio offers a home to four families, after school classes and play facilities for over 100 children, medical assistance, and economic opportunities through a bakery, garden and artisan center. Building projects continue. More than 50 volunteers from the United States, Bolivia, and around the world have particpated in service projects.

The Bolivian/USA Partnership

A common cause to help the Quechua community has led to strong friendships and a partnership that allows the community to maintain their cultural identity while building a better future.


Felix and Flora Paredes, Cochabamba, Bolivia. Felix and Flora are Fair Trade Artisans. They initiated the concept of Refugio Rafael and generously donated land for the project.

Claribel Inochea, Binto, Bolivia.

Claribel is lead teacher in the after school program. She also assists her father in the needs of families.


Ralph DeJong, Columbus, Ohio.

As board member of Global Gallery, Ralph manages the project funds. He is also the Construction Project Manager for service trips.

Ernesto Inochea, Binto, Bolivia.

As Director of the program, Ernesto runs the after school program, assists families with medical, social and economic needs. He also manages the on-going construction projects of the refuge.   

Connie DeJong, Columbus, Ohio.

As chief liason to the Bolivian partners, Connie oversees the legal and organizational aspects, Fair Trade Artisan project, and organizes the service trips.

Refugio Rafael

is located in the heart of a Quechua community outside the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia. People in this Andes Mountain agricultural area provide for their families through roadside markets and day labor. Living conditions in the villages are simple and electricity is limited. There may be no indoor plumbing and clothes may be washed by hand. Small vegetable gardens and chickens provide food. Meals are prepared on small propane burners. 

The Refugio is a unique  community support facility, staffed by local people and assisted by international partners. We provide supplemental education, economic development, medical assistance, and a secure home for families.


After School Program

The Community Center classrooms and dedicated educators provide over 100  children with homework help, tutoring,  mentorship, creative play, and storytelling.


Economic Development 

The refuge provides work space and mentors for artisans to develop handcrafts and goods for local and international markets.


Health and Wellness

A health and wellness program provides education and support for community members. The Health Clinic will provide  medical/dental consultation.



A Secure Home

Housing units and staff provide a place where families at risk can be supported in a traditional home setting. Families receive housing, food assistance, medical, and social services. 

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Global Gallery is a Fair Trade coffee shop, gift shop and art gallery with a mission. We’re dedicated to promoting Fair Trade handcrafted products from around the world while developing cultural enrichment through educational workshops and social events.


Come relax, study, or discuss in our cafe or patio.


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