Consecration of the Grand Priory of Peru in 2013 (Nov 2012)
The Supreme Grand Priory of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus, by means of its Grand Chancellory, is presently coordinating the establishment and consecration of the Grand Priory of Peru, which is presently in formation. The Grand Prior-Elect is Dr. Andrew Pagon whose energy and initiative in this region has proven to be infectuous.
The Grand Priory in formation has already underlined its ambitious target in the country. Dr. Pagon states that '‘we are in a great need of founding a first integrated and trans-cultural medical centre in the upper Amazon namely the Oxapampa area, on the eastern side of the department of the Pasco Region.'
Oxapampa is a town in Peru, on the eastern side of the department of the Pasco Region. It has a unique history related to its founding. A ranching and coffee centre, it was founded by German settlers in the 19th century. Oxapampa (altitude 1,800 m; population 10,000) belongs to the natural region known as Selva Alta or high jungle. 80 km down the valley is the settlement of Pozuzo (altitude 800 m). In 1853, as living conditions in Central Europe were poor due to wars and famine, baron Damian Freiherr von Schutz-Holzhausen signed a contract with the Peruvian government to send 10,000 colonists to the virgin area of Alto Huallaga.
In March 1857 a group of 300 Tyrolean and Prussian settlers, consisting mainly of poor peasant families and couples who weren't allowed to marry in their home countries, boarded the "Norton" to go to Peru. Before starting the journey, the couples were married. After 4 months, the settlers arrived at Callao port in Lima. After two days of quarantine, the settlers took a ship to the port of Huacho, where their belongings were put on mules and men had to continue the journey on foot while women and children were given donkeys to ride on. The journey went from Huancho to Cerro de Pasco, Acobamba and Santa Cruz. On the way, some of the settlers left the group. In 1858, the male settlers travelled from Santa Cruz to Pozuzo to partition the lands and sow enough so they would be able to live off their crops once their families arrived. Finally, in 1859 a group of 170 people moved permanently to Pozuz. In 1891, when things were better, a group of colonists from Pozuzo founded the city of Oxapampa (now the capital of the province of same name) and then the town of Villa Rica (both South of Pozuzo).