Peru People

Peru people are kind, helpful and cheerful.  They are delightful, friendly souls, always with a ready smile, no matter their circumstances in life.

For Peruvians in the upper classes, life is wonderful.  The Peruvian economy is booming and the Sol is strong. 

If you're fortunate enough to have the right education and marketable skills, you can do well.

But for those living at poverty level, life is a much different story.  Their lives can be a struggle, and their environment harsh.

Underground Riches

Because Peru is rich in precious metals, mining is a huge industry in this beautiful South American country, located just south of Ecuador and due west of Brazil.  Mining firms from first world countries, such as the United States, Canada and Australia are harvesting these metals as fast as they can dig them out of the ground.

Photo by Paul Summers

But while the mining industry has brought jobs into Peru for those fortunate enough to find them, the slag from that mining has contaminated the water and soil in the mountain regions. 

Children who are exposed to these contaminates suffer from learning disabilities that could affect them for the rest of their lives. 

Many Peruvians living in these areas have high levels of mercury in their systems, and many are anemic. 

Peru People and Life in the Rural Areas

Life for Peru people living in the Andes, as well as the Amazons is harsh.  Children may start working as early as five, and many of these children only attend school for a few years. 

Up to a third of all rural children living in the rural areas suffer from chronic malnutrition.  The people in rural areas live in huts in primitive conditions with no electricity.

Life in Lima

Some families, hoping to escape these hard conditions and find a better life for their children, flee to Lima, a city with a population of more than nine million people. 

With no money and few prospects for work, many of these people wind up living in the slums. 

Without city ministries their lives would be hopeless.

People living in shanty towns must pay for water that is hauled in.

As a means of helping these refugees from the country and the mountains, the Peruvian government allows them to claim land they have built a home on and on which they are living. 

The Peruvians call this an invasion, and it can certainly feel that way to those who discover these pueblos jovenes or shanty towns on the bordering mountains.

These new settlers build homes out of whatever materials they can scrounge and typically must buy water that is hauled in.

They have very little education, and understand little about the importance of personal hygiene.  They have limited access to the most basic of medicines.  Local ministries are reaching out to people living in these shanty towns.

How We Help Peru People

On our mission trips to Peru, we pass out toothbrushes and toothpaste and teach about the importance of oral hygiene and washing hands.

We provide glucose tests (diabetes is a huge problem among the poor in Peru because of malnutrition and the poor diet they often consume). 

We provide basic medical and dental services as well as provide the gospel daily while we are there. 

In a skit, Michael and Caleb demonstrate the importance of washing hands.

We show the Jesus film as well as Mary Magdaline.  We provide a children's camp very similar to a Vacation Bible School program with activities and a clown.

In providing help in a practical way and the hope of the gospel, we glorify God and spread His message among the poor in Peru.

Related article:  Do You Have What it Takes to Help the People of Peru?