Meeting People in Lima
Moving to another country can be an intimidating adventure, but the opportunity to make friends can make it an enriching experience. How does one go about making friends in a country where you may not know the language? Fortunately, there are many places where expats can meet people and make friends, whether it’s with people from your home country, expats from other countries, or nationals of Peru.
One of the biggest meeting spots for expats meeting other expats in Peru is on the various forums for expatriates, including ours. Most forums have ‘regulars’ who are eager to help out new arrivals with information regarding life in Peru, and often arrange get-togethers. It’s a great way to get to know a little about someone, and gives you a convenient place to ask them to meet up for a cup of coffee or a shopping trip.
Churches and temples are a great place to meet friendly, like-minded people. Even if you aren’t usually of a religious nature, some churches have programs and get-togethers. There are places of worship that perform services in English, and some that have translations available. A great way to meet other expats and Peruvian nationals, see the Ultimate Peru List of English services in Lima.
Taking bus, walking or biking tours of the Lima is a good way to meet expats and locals. People looking for a fun-filled evening with the chance to meet and interact with others should consider the Bus Parrandero – a bus trip starting at LarcoMar, that tours the streets of Miraflores, Barranco and Chorillos with a live band, drinks and snacks on board. Also, the Miratour kiosk at Kennedy Park in Miraflores offers day and weekend trips from Lima – an excellent way to spend your time, learning about the area and meeting new people.
Hobbyist Groups and Classes
Meeting people is always fun when you’re in a group that has similar interests. Some popular special interest groups include the Lima Hash House Harriers, ‘drinkers with a running problem’ who get together twice a month for running, walking and fun. The Lima Toastmasters Club helps people become more confident public speakers. Local museums offer classes, as do art supply stores. Kolibri Expeditions offers birding trips. Go down to the beach in Miraflores, and take surfing lessons. Whatever your interest is, there is most likely a group in Lima that gets together and does it! This is probably the best way to meet and make friends with Peruvian nationals.
Get out there and help someone, and meet like-minded people. There are many groups in and around Lima that do good works, from educating poverty stricken children to helping care for neglected or mistreated animals. Check this list of Lima based charity organizations, and see where you can lend a hand and make some friends.
Spanish Classes and Spanish/English Exchanges
If your Spanish is non-existent, or needs some improvement, consider taking Spanish classes. Many expats in Lima take lessons to improve their Spanish, so it’s a great place to meet people. Another option is conversation exchange – meeting with a Spanish speaker who’s learning English and taking turns practicing the two languages. Conversation.com has listings of Spanish speakers in Peru who are looking for a chance to practice their English, and will help you with your Spanish.
South American Explorers Club
The Lima SAE Club provides many of the above resources – they can help you find volunteer opportunities, provide Spanish language courses and organize fun get-togethers. If you’re alone in Lima and looking for something to do and a place to meet people, give them a call.