Geography and Climate
Peru has three primary geographic regions: coast, mountains, and jungle. The climatic conditions in each of these 3 regions are vastly different depending on the time of year. Coastal sites can experience hotter, drier climates year round with little to no rainfall. The mountain areas are often high altitude sites with cold weather, experiencing a wet and dry season. Jungle sites experience more rain throughout the year and sometimes hotter climates.
Cuerpo de Paz - Peru
"Your Name," PCT
Via Lactea 132
Once you are sworn in as a Volunteer, you will be assigned a regional post office box in a city convenient to your site, or will be asked to use your host family’s address as your mailing address
TelephonesInternational phone service to and from Peru is fairly reliable and accessible to most Volunteers. Volunteers are can purchase cell phones and a basic calling plan. If you would like to bring an iPhone or other smartphone, consult with your carrier to determine your options.
Internet cafés are
common in Peru, especially in urban and semi-urban areas. Once a Volunteer is
placed in their permanent community, they may or may not have access to
internet. International telephone service to and from Peru is also relatively
good. There are various international phone cards and international phone plans
available in Peru. More information about communication options is provided
during Pre-Service Training. A Volunteer’s ability to adapt to infrequent and
inaccessible communication options is the key to a successful service.
Housing and Site Location
All Volunteers are required to live with a host family during the 11 weeks of pre-service training and the first 6 months of service. Couples will live together with the same host family. After the first 6 months of service, if appropriate housing is available, a Volunteer may request to live independently however, the home stay experience is often the most memorable and rewarding experience in a Volunteer’s service.
Assignments may be in a city, a mid-sized town, a small town, or a rural village. Housing is usually made of cement or adobe blocks, sometimes covered with stucco. Roofs are made of tile, corrugated tin, or thatch. You will have your own room, which may be within the larger house or a separate room within a family compound. You will likely have electricity and occasional running water, although not all Volunteers do. The electric current in Peru is 220 volts. You will have access to either indoor plumbing or a latrine.
Living Allowance and Money ManagementVolunteers receive a monthly allowance in local currency that is sufficient to live at the level of the local people. The allowance covers food, housing, household supplies, clothing, transportation to and from work, utilities, recreation and entertainment, and incidental expenses. Peace Corps Volunteers are expected to live at a level that is comparable with that of their host country counterparts. The Peace Corps discourages Volunteers from supplementing their living allowance with funds from home. However, Volunteers often wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. For this, credit cards and traveler’s checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.
Peruvian diet varies based on geographic location, but in
general will include a high-starch diet (potatoes, rice, or cassava) with an
option of meat, chicken, or fish. Host families will prepare meals based on
what’s available in their areas and Volunteers should be prepared to eat with
host families to show respect for their hospitality and culture.
All Volunteers will have access to regular/daily transportation options in their communities; some may be required to walk up to an hour to get access. Volunteers typically take large, double-decker buses that provide for a comfortable experience on long journeys.
Cultural Attitudes and Customs in the Workplace
While Peruvians tend
to be hard working and industrious, there is a tendency for activities and
meetings to start late, and for everything to take longer than anticipated. The
concept of team work and team building might be relatively new for community
partners and colleagues. The pace of life in small and rural communities can
pose challenges to keeping people focused on the work at hand, and their
ability to provide consistent project support and supervision. Time and energy
will need to be invested in working with Peruvian community partners to insure
that capacity building takes place. Generally, in Peruvian culture,
relationship building comes before work results can be achieved so it’s
important to consider how to create the best working relationships with
different community stake holders.