Peru Mission Questions You Might Have
What identification will I need? Of course you will need your passport to travel but please check well in advance that your passport does not expire within 6 months of this trip. I would recommend taking a photo of your passport on your cell phone as well as making 3 copies of the document. Put one in your suitcase, leave one with family members and give one to the trip coordinators. I would also recommend bringing a second form of identification such as your driver’s license. That could expedite your return to the US if you did loose your passport.
What vaccinations will I need? The CDC recommends that you are current on all of your routine vaccines prior to traveling out of the country. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and polio vaccine. The CDC suggests, and I would strongly encourage you to get the Hepatitis A vaccine (two doses given 6 months a part) since Hepatitis A is contracted through contaminated food or water. Please review schedules for vaccinations and guidelines for travel to Peru on the CDC.gov website.
Is there an emergency number at the church where we are staying?We are staying at Santisimo Sacramento in Piura. The phone number of the church is 011-51-73-322441. This includes the international operator, the country code (51) and the city code (73). We will have international service on Vicky’s cell phone for emergencies. That number is 469-879-6066. You can dial the number directly without an operator or country code on AT&T. It is most likely the case on other carriers as well but you should check with them to be sure.
Do I need travel insurance? St. Ann will provide medical and medical evacuation insurance through Volunteer Missionary Travel Insurance as part of your fee. If you want cancellation/trip interruption insurance it can be purchased separately through the same company. The website is and their phone number is 800-922-8438.
Will we have access to WIFI and desktop computers?WIFI is available throughout the facility. Of course it is slower when everyone is accessing it especially in the evenings. Be sure to turn off your cellular data when you leave the US unless you have purchased an International Data Plan for your cell phone. We will also have access totwo desktop computers. Check with your carrier for information on international phone calls.
What is the weather like?It will be “winter” in Piura while we are there, but we are relatively close to the equator, so there is not a huge change in temperature. The days will be in the upper 70s and the nights will be in the low 60s. Sunglasses, sunscreen and hats are highly recommended.
What do I pack? Bring a light jacket or sweater. The facility is open air so it can be a little cool in the mornings and evenings. It is expected that we are conservative in our dress especially at Mass and when we go out in the villages to work. It is not considered appropriate by the mission for women to wear short shorts (except in the dormitory area) or sleeveless shirts to set an example of modesty. Bring a couple pair of old pants, capris, knee length shorts (“Cargo” shorts for the guys), T-shirts and sturdy shoes to work in the villages. Tank tops are considered “beach wear.” For Mass during the week at the parish pants, capris, jeans without holes or rips, and skirts are appropriate for women. Jeans or slacks are fine for the guys. You will only need two or three sets of “Mass clothes” as you will only be wearing them for a short time in the evenings. Sunday Mass is usually out in the Pueblo’s and we will be wearing team T-shirts that day. Bring flip-flops for the shower.
What linens do we need to bring? The church does provide sheets, blankets and a bath towel. We recommend that you bring a set of towels and washcloths for your personal use. At the end of the trip you have the option to leave them in the room and they will be washed and given to a needy family. Plus you now have more space in your suitcase to take home some wonderful Peruvian blankets and other gifts! Bring your own toiletries
Do they have 110v or 220v electricity?All electricity is 220v so make sure that all phones, electronics, hairdryers, curling irons, electric razors, etc. are able to convert to 220 (dual voltage) or bring a step-down transformer. Some of the electrical outlets are like ours and some are not (2 round holes instead of flat slots). You might need to bring an adapter for the outlet. There is one power strip on a step-down transformer that accepts US plugs in the computer room for our use.
Will our personal belongings be safe?Your personal items will be safe in your rooms at the mission but be very cautious with your belongings on the streets, working in the pueblos and especially in Lima. When going into the pueblos a small backpack that you do not need to take off or a “fanny pack” allows you to keep your hands free. If you put valuables down or look away, it may be gone. Pick pocketing is a very common crime – always be alert to your surroundings and belongings!
What about the food?Basically, anything that isn’t cooked, such as salad, fruits, and vegetables that aren’t cooked or peeled should not be eaten. The food at the church is prepared very carefully for us and is usually fine. You might want to bring some snacks such as beef jerky, granola bars, candy, or trail mix…especially since dinner isn’t until after 7pm Mass.
What about the water?Don’t drink the water from the faucet or even let it cross your lips. Brush your teeth and rinse your toothbrush with bottled water. Bring an extra toothbrush or two in case you put yours under the faucet to rinse it without thinking. There will be plenty of bottled water for us at the church. Beware of ordering drinks that have ice in them – often times the ice is made from the local water. Drink only bottled water. This includes the water at the airport in Lima.
How much money do we need to bring? The only cash you need to bring would be for food in the airports or for souvenirs while we are in Piura or Lima. We usually take a short trip to Catacaos, a nearby village that has an outdoor market with interesting souvenirs and gifts. There is also an artist that sometimes comes to the church and sells his paintings. They cost anywhere from $25 to $200. You can exchange dollars for soles at the church once we get there. You can use American dollars and credit cards in Lima and at the Lima airport. Your credit card should have a chip in it to be sure it will be accepted everywhere - One word of caution - bring $20 bills (or smaller) and be sure they are clean, unmarked and not torn. Most vendors are trained to check for counterfeit bills and tend to reject any that are not in good shape!
Are we safe?Generally, we are safe while we stay in Piura and we have a lot of wonderful people from Father Joe’s parish that watch out for us even without our knowing it. We do ask you to never venture out from the church by yourself or in small groups without someone from the parish with you. We are more vulnerable during our afternoon in Lima so we ask that people stay together in small groups of 2 or 3 and watch out for each other.
For questions or to register contact Joe or Vicky Pickard: or 469-879-6066