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Snapshot of Peru – Spanish is the official language of Peru, though Quechua and Aymara are co-official in some regions of the country. About 80% of Peru’s population is Catholic, with another 12% being Evangelical. Many Peruvian towns have their own unique festivals and celebrations, featuring music, dance, and special meals. Marinera dancing is a popular feature of many of these festivities. Folk instruments such as the charango, cajón, and zampoña are popular, though modern styles such as rock and cumbia are also popular. Soccer is Peru’s most popular sport, though volleyball is also somewhat popular. Peruvian cuisine varies from region to region, though the staples of meat (beef, pork, and chicken), rice, corn, chili peppers, and potatoes are common ingredients in meals throughout the country. Some popular dishes include lomo saltado (fried meat served with french fries, rice, and onions), anticuchos (barbecued cow heart), and ceviche (raw fish in citrus juice and served with chili peppers). A modified version of Chinese food, known as Chifa, is also popular.
We are still collecting information on the Perú Lima South Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The church is growing very rapidly in Lima. Many members are very willing to help missionaries. In general, there is a strong emphasis on missionary work in the area. On average, the church grows in this area by 120-200 each month.
A typical dish in Lima includes chicken and rice. They also eat a lot of potato-based dishes with other vegetables. The customary meal is a soup with a main dish. When people feed the missionaries, they always have a good refresco (drink)sych as Lemonade, Maracuya juice, Granadilla juice, Diet Coke, and Inka Kola. You might be offered guinea pig, cow stomach, chicken feet soup, or cow heart, but missionaries generally enjoy all these foods.
Missionaries travel by feet or by bus. Bus rides are extremely cheap and constantly going on all the time. In your area you will be walking most of the time.
There are dogs but if you crouch over and pretend like your grabbing a rock they’ll normally run away. Stay off the streets as the mission handbook directs by 9 PM and 9:30 PM if you’re in a lesson. Be careful crossing the busy streets. Always lock your door and do not carry or show off valuable items.
Occasionally people will offer you food or a drink even if they don’t know you. Use discretion when in comes to eating or drinking things from people you don’t know. Peruvians are extremely friendly and almost always open to religious discussion.
It is not uncommon for people to live together, have kids, and even call themselves husband and wife but not be married.
Chevere and Bacan mean cool. They say “pues” a lot which literally means “well”, or “thus”, but they use it more sporadically and with varying meanings. Many Peruvians will explain that they don’t speak Spanish but “Castellano” which is the American Content’s version of Spanish.
Backpack, sunscreen, scripture case.
Peruvians love to laugh and are typically very receptive to North Americans.
Ave. Jorge Chavez 1272
What items were hard to get or not available?
I can’t think of anything that I couldn’t get with relative ease that I really needed. Because our mission has two of the biggest malls in Lima right next to the offices anything obscure that you may need can easily be obtained with permission from the mission President.
What did you eat the most of?
Rice. You will eat a lot of rice and chicken. You will also drink a lot of Inca Cola, which is best described as a yellow soda pop that tastes like bubble gum. It’s very tasty and I miss it.
What is the craziest thing you ate?
Guinea Pig was pretty crazy. I ate a caldo de cabeza (cow head soup because and inactive member offered it to us and we didn’t want to offend her. It had chicken feet, cow tongue, and other delectable morsiles.
What was most surprising about the culture? How friendly and kind Peruvians are. They love the missionaries and most people are very eager to listen if you are kind and speak with the spirit. Also Lima is awesome because it’s a mix of all of the other provinces in Perú. Many people seek to live in Lima for work, or in order to be close to family, or just to be in the capital of their country. You will meet people from several of the regions of Perú and you might even be able to differentiate where someone is from based off of cultural aspects, accents, looks, etc. It’s an awesome experience to learn about Peruvian culture and people.
What advice would you give to someone going to this Mission?
This may sound cliché but the sooner a missionary realizes it’s true the better: Love the people sincerely and they will sincerely love you and the Lord back. Always be obedient. Make the people laugh and feel your friendship and positive attitude. Be grateful. Always compliment the delicious food and awesome aspects of Peruvian Culture. One day you will miss all of it. I promise you.
What do you wish you had known before you served?
I wish I had known that the best way to learn is by doing. That applies to teaching, speaking the language, studying, or any other aspect of the mission. Go out with faith that the Lord is with you in all you do and He WILL help you. Your actions in the mission will shape vital habits for the rest of your life and the eternities. Be obedient and be blessed.