A Dundee salsa group is getting set to celebrate its 15th anniversary by smashing a £100,000 fundraising goal for a centre which looks after at-risk youngsters in Peru.
Latin Quarter founder Sarah Broxholme first got involved with the Asociacion Azul Wasi, then known as Project Colibri, in 2002 after visiting the country on holiday and witnessing the plight of vulnerable street children at a charity event.
The group provides a drop-in centre and home near the ancient Inca capital Cusco, featuring a greenhouse, fruit and vegetable garden, play areas and facilities to house 15 boys, aged between five and 17.
Volunteers are currently building a new shower block to be named after Henry Huamani, one of the original boys who achieved his dream of becoming a tour guide through the project but died following a battle with cancer in February.
Ms Broxholme first organised a one-off salsa party to raise money for the project but the event proved so popular she decided to found Latin Quarter in 2003 to provide regular social and live music nights in Dundee.
The club has now raised more than £98,000 for Azul Wasi, along with a further £6,000 for other charities, and hopes to finally reach six figures prior to a 15th anniversary party next month.
Ms Broxholme will travel to Cusco later this month for the first time in seven years to visit the centre and see how the children have been progressing.
She said: “I came home in 2002 and looked straight away at how much it would cost to rent a place and provide somewhere for the children to go. Salsa is just a hobby but I wondered how much we could raise by providing weekly classes.
“I now get regular updates from Azul Wasi and I think it is a really worthwhile cause. It’s a really good feeling to see how well the boys are doing and how successful they have been in school.
“There is a knock-on effect on the whole community and I’m really looking forward to going back and see how everything is coming along.
“I really would like to thank all of the people from Dundee and across Scotland who support my salsa classes and events for Azul Wasi as without their support, nothing would be possible.”
The Latin Quarter 15th anniversary party will be held from 8pm on September 29 at the Friary and members of the public are encouraged to attend. There will be live music from salsa band Son al Son, along with a raffle and bar.
Tickets will go on sale at Groucho’s record shop from next week.