I made it to Perú and it’s better than I could have ever imagined! There are 44 of us that make up Peace Corps Perú 27. It is an incredible group of diverse people who are all sacrificing 2 years of cultural comfort to promote peace and friendship in this beautiful country!
A little (but not too much) background on the Peace Corps in Perú. Good ol’ JFK began the Peace Corps in 1961 and Perú had it’s first volunteers in 1962. In 1975, Peace Corps had to pull out of Perú because of political unrest and an unstable economy. In 2001, Peace Corps was invited back into Perú by then-President Alejandro Toledo, who had a personal relationship with PC. When Toledo was young, his family hosted a Peace Corps volunteer. Then, he taught Spanish for the Peace Corps in California while he was in college. So, long story short, Peace Corps was back in Perú by 2002. Two new groups of Peace Corps volunteers come to Perú each year, which makes my group the 27th group in Perú. There are currently 5 different programs in Perú: Youth Development, Community Health, Community Economic Development, Water and Sanitation, and Environmental Management (which is no longer accepting new volunteers). I am an aspiring Community Economic Development volunteer, which means I will be helping with business development, economic opportunities for women and youth, financial literacy programs.
Hopefully I haven’t lost you with the long backstory…
Now on to my experience so far!
We arrived in beautiful Chosico, Perú for a two day retreat that helped the group get to know each other, while easing us in to our new country.
After the retreat, I moved in with my new family in Huascata, which is only about 1o minutes by combi to the Peace Corps Training center. I have a mom, dad, two sisters, and two dogs. I could not have asked for a better family! They are incredibly hospitable and welcoming. They are also a huge help with my Spanish and quiz me every night at dinner. Also, my host mom is an incredible cook and is definitely spoiling me with food!
My host pup, Quién
Quién y Cúal
My host mom, Ana Melva, who is an excellent cook and is treating me like one of her own daughters!
An Ana Melva masterpiece
View from my room in Hauscata
My days are spent at the Peace Corps training center attending various sessions on language, culture, intercultural competency diversity and inclusion, safety and security, healthy, and technical skills. The Peace Corps has done a fantastic job of covering all bases so that when we go to site, we will be more than prepared.
Perú 27 lunch break at the training center in Chaclacayo
Learning traditional Peruvian dances during a lunch break at the Peace Corps training center
Overall, I’m extremely grateful and happy for my experience with the Peace Corps so far. I know there are many hard roads ahead of me, but for now, soy entusiasmo!