Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
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Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby imtori » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:29 pm

Hello all you lovely ex-pats!
I am a single mom, with 2 teens at home, disabled and living on SS disability in Arkansas. Here my income is such that I am considered very poor, Since I have all this free-time now I want to spend it in missionary work, at my age and circumstances, I must be "self-supporting". My plan is to teach English part-time and live off my ss pension. From what I am reading on here it seems I should be able to live quite well, much better than I do here! I will not be able to fly back to the states once or twice a year, I plan on going to stay, but for caution sake let's plan on 1-3 years to start. But I don't seem to qualify for a pensioner visa. I have been looking at the stories of those who say you need only head over the border every six months and renew your tourist visa? Has anyone any experience with this?
I hope to venture over in January 2012, and am trying to make some contacts beforehand, I know I will want to be near the coast, whether Lima is appropriate or not I do not know. I don't drive so, and can't walk far. Here I use a three wheeled bike to get around town. I can bike easily as long as its all downhill! lol So I need to live close to my job and my Kingdom Hall, thanks to "Naturegirl" 's lovely website I have the address of an English service at the Kingdom Hall at AV. El Cortijo 329 - can anyone tell me about this neighborhood?
I will need a 3 bedroom apartment or freestanding house, very very frugal, all I ask for is counter space in the kitchen and the ability to put an air conditioner in my bedroom, I can seal with everything else! I need to keep to the 25% of income rule so I will want to pay $100-150 US monthly for rent.
Any ideas? Fellow Jehovahs's Witnesses, any who may be in Peru or elsewhere with advice please comment or just say "HI".
Love to you all!
Tori


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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby Kelly » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:15 pm

The odds of you finding even a tiny apartment for that price in Lima are quite slim. I think you should read this thread again very carefully. Are you planning on moving down with two teenagers?
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby imtori » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:38 pm

Kelly wrote:The odds of you finding even a tiny apartment for that price in Lima are quite slim. I think you should read this thread again very carefully. Are you planning on moving down with two teenagers?


Yes they are coming with me, bear in mind, I am not coming to retire or party, but to work, I prefer to live just like the Peruvians, as they are my mission. I'm not talking about a retirement condo just a place to stick my meager things and lay my head at night. (And as I mentioned a little counter space to chop my veggies! lol) We can make due with two bedrooms if necessary or even a large room with two beds for that matter. The important thing is the work. We won't be hanging around playing video games after-all! lol

We have lived with much less before let me assure you!

I think its so funny when I hear someone say that "rents are 500-700 but if you want to go live at the beach the price will be more like the states!" I am paying 600 in the states! Ha, its all perception. I also hear many times the others who say "600 for rent?? I live on that all month!" well thats why we are coming just to live very cheaply a Peruvian lifestyle. Of course I WANT to pay 150 but if I pay HAVE to pay more till I find what I want then of course thats just how it is, lol, thats always the case isn't it?
As I am on a mission I expect that Jehovah will provide exactly what we need.
Thanks for your input! I hope to hear from others...
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby chuck » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:00 pm

how's your spanish? You should at least have a little before coming.

May be better financially if you can live away from Lima.
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby imtori » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:32 pm

chuck wrote:how's your spanish? You should at least have a little before coming.

May be better financially if you can live away from Lima.


HI!
Well I understand MUCH more than I speak comfortably, it will get better when I am forced to use it all the time. I know that Lima is mostly tourists, and priced for tourists, I just want to be near whatever job I land, as long as I can get to the Kingdom Hall and meetings, that will then the missionary trips will be with others of course, others who may for instance drive! lol Do you have any suggestions? I am open to everything, just started my quest for information, nothing is set in stone! lol
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby Alpineprince » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:10 am

imtori wrote:
chuck wrote:how's your spanish? You should at least have a little before coming.

May be better financially if you can live away from Lima.


HI!
Well I understand MUCH more than I speak comfortably, it will get better when I am forced to use it all the time. I know that Lima is mostly tourists, and priced for tourists, I just want to be near whatever job I land, as long as I can get to the Kingdom Hall and meetings, that will then the missionary trips will be with others of course, others who may for instance drive! lol Do you have any suggestions? I am open to everything, just started my quest for information, nothing is set in stone! lol

I would contact your local church and inquire . I know they have a big campus in Monterico ( by US Embassy) So I imagine you can live there with the other missionaries.
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby imtori » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:35 pm

Alpineprince wrote:
imtori wrote:
chuck wrote:how's your spanish? You should at least have a little before coming.

May be better financially if you can live away from Lima.


HI!
Well I understand MUCH more than I speak comfortably, it will get better when I am forced to use it all the time. I know that Lima is mostly tourists, and priced for tourists, I just want to be near whatever job I land, as long as I can get to the Kingdom Hall and meetings, that will then the missionary trips will be with others of course, others who may for instance drive! lol Do you have any suggestions? I am open to everything, just started my quest for information, nothing is set in stone! lol

I would contact your local church and inquire . I know they have a big campus in Monterico ( by US Embassy) So I imagine you can live there with the other missionaries.


Thank you so much for your reply!
Actually I will be a "self-supporting" missionary and will be finding my own accommodations. I doubt if many missionaries live in the complex you mention because it is likely the Bethel headquarters where our literature is distributed from.
Actually since I have been researching this topic I am beginning to lean toward a family stay option at one of the many b&b type homes available. Very inexpensive as well as a more social situation for immersion into the culture. I think it may be much easier than trying to accumulate new belongings like furniture and such on a budget. I have been looking at the Arequipa area. Does anyone have any experience with this? I would love to hear from you!
Love,
Tori
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby adrian Thorne » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:44 am

Tori there are many districts in Lima that can provide what you want, but they are generally very dangerous areas that an expat would not venture. My niece and her son live in a department in the distict of Brena which costs her 120 soles a month, but I am not sure you could survive in the community there and I have no information on Churches in the distict.
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby imtori » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:42 am

adrian Thorne wrote:Tori there are many districts in Lima that can provide what you want, but they are generally very dangerous areas that an expat would not venture. My niece and her son live in a department in the distict of Brena which costs her 120 soles a month, but I am not sure you could survive in the community there and I have no information on Churches in the distict.


You know thats actually the exact kind of thing I am looking for, as long as there are some local JWs in the area that I can identify with I would be fine, I am making some inquires with the local Kingdom Halls through the Branch office there to find some. Thanks for the info! I really appreciate every little bit I can get!
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby Kelly » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:23 pm

As long as you realize that the kind of housing your talking about often has bare concrete flooring at best and 2, maybe maybe 3 rooms - not bedrooms, rooms. You won't be finding anything with furniture for that prices, likely it won't have the kitchen counters you're looking for. :)

You can look at this videoto get an idea. This is a house we owned, where I lived for the first two years I lived in Peru. When we moved out, we rented it for $100/month. It was 30 meters, had bare concrete floors, and the roof is made of woven wicker with a drywall ceiling (when I first moved in, it was cardboard stapled to the beams). It consists of 2 rooms, with a tiny room that passed for a kitchen - it really was just a room with a sink. And certainly no place to put an air conditioner, as there were no windows :wink: . (We used fans and got by fine, though)

It's great if that's what you're looking for. I'm just trying to get a feeling for if you're completely aware of the conditions you're talking about. You say things like you understand that Lima is mostly tourists, but that's not really true, so it concerns me that you're making decisions based on info that may not be completely factual.

Also, you're bringing two teen boys with you - are you planning on homeschooling? Do they speak Spanish? I really recommend that you contact your church here, and talk to them about your plans and get as much information as you can.

You talk about getting a job - If you're going to be on a tourist visa, it's going to be difficult to find a job.

You mentioned you can't walk far - I think you'll find that using a 3-wheeled bike is near to impossible here. Taxis are going to be too expensive for you, and if you can't walk far, combis may prove to be difficult for you too.

You mentioned that you think you can live "quite well" - that's a very subjective measure. It will be possible to survive, to have food and a roof over you head with a bed to sleep in. If that's all you need for 'quite well', you'll be fine. I'm not trying to dissuade you from what you want to do - I'm just trying to make sure you have a very realistic idea of what your options will be.

Also, I'm going to separate this part of the thread out into it's own thread - I think it's strayed a bit from discussing a general cost of living. :)
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby rama0929 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:41 pm

Ah, you're a Jehovah's Witness. My sister and my bro-in-law is serving in Ayacucho. I'm not sure as to how it works, but I think they tend to send you where the need is great. I don't think you'll be spending much time in Lima. They sent my brother and his wife to Vilcas.

At any rate, once you get in touch with people there, they'll be able to assist you via their network of brothers and sisters.
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby rama0929 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:47 pm

imtori wrote: I know that Lima is mostly tourists, and priced for tourists...


To be clear, it isn't. There are areas that cater to tourists, but Lima isn't mostly tourists.
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby euroman » Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:50 pm

It will be impossible to find a 3 bed place in Lima for $100-$150 a month. In Tarapoto you will encounter something easier in that price range. There`s also a large and new Jehovah church in Tarapoto.
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby imtori » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:16 pm

rama0929 wrote:
imtori wrote: I know that Lima is mostly tourists, and priced for tourists...


To be clear, it isn't. There are areas that cater to tourists, but Lima isn't mostly tourists.


Let me be more clear, I am under the impression that the majority of the more vocal participants on this board are of the wealthier business man or retiree expat community. (By wealthy I mean wealthy enough to think its impossible to live on 600 a month) People who often talk about paying 4000 a month in rent for instance. I am talking about going to a third-world country for missionary service. If air conditioning is available I will certainly want one, who wouldn't? But I certainly don't expect to have it.

The experience I am looking for is living with less, here in the states, if you can't pay for electricity and air conditioning, and cable tv and on and on and on then you are subject to a police state mentality. I live in a house with a rent of 602 a month(I pay 73 on section 8) elect of 170 and we are still freezing in the winter because I can't turn it up higher, a gas bill of 130 and we only use it to heat hot water, 58 for telephone, 100 for misc household supplies, 60 for medicines. with those expenses and transportation and food. i dont have enough money left for food so I am on foodstamps that gives me almost 300 dollars are we are hungry the last half of the month because i refuse to buy cheap junk food. So for two weeks we eat fresh vegetables and then two weeks we eat rice and beans. Meat? yeah right! (ok once in a while we do have a little)

We lived in conditions like you mention for almost two years without electricity before my disability pension began (it took over 4 years of appeals to get on disability) and even though we were happy and making the best of it the state came in to "help" and then when I didn't qualify for their help because lo and behold I was not a drug addict, or alcoholic, not mentally ill, or beating my kids that therefore there was no help for me. Actually I think the conditions were actually worse, because of the fear, that living in this police state will do to your peace of mind. If "the powers that be" decide they can take even that little bit away from you.
Here when people see you with no electricity washing your clothes in the yard, hanging them to dry in the sunlight, and happily! They call the authorities... lol

I don't walk far because of knee trouble, but I have a cane, and I'm sure there are plenty of Peruvians with similar disabilities. When you are a person with trouble, it is rejuvenating to be faced with those who would think you "have it all".
I know that I won't need food-stamps, or Medicaid, or Section 8 in Peru, I can actually make my own way living on the economy as the natives of the land who have nothing do. And because of my small pension I, even I, have something to offer them! (Not my money but my skills, and more importantly my message of Hope)

Incidentally, I appreciate your concern, so much! I know that Jehovah, seeing my heartfelt desire to be useful will bless me, and I have no fear.

PS Yes we have been homeschooling for most of their lives! We are all learning Spanish and they are actually half Mexican- so they have an incentive to learn. They are very excited about this journey!

PS again: I just watched your video! You made it sound like a terrible hovel ( I was thinking about cardboard and dirt) but it actually looks quite nice! A little paint and a couple rugs thrown here and there, and the sink already has a drainboard! lol All you need is a table for counterspace and you got it made!
Last edited by imtori on Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby imtori » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:19 pm

rama0929 wrote:Ah, you're a Jehovah's Witness. My sister and my bro-in-law is serving in Ayacucho. I'm not sure as to how it works, but I think they tend to send you where the need is great. I don't think you'll be spending much time in Lima. They sent my brother and his wife to Vilcas.

At any rate, once you get in touch with people there, they'll be able to assist you via their network of brothers and sisters.

How nice! Do you live there too? Give them my greetings!
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby imtori » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:28 pm

euroman wrote:It will be impossible to find a 3 bed place in Lima for $100-$150 a month. In Tarapoto you will encounter something easier in that price range. There`s also a large and new Jehovah church in Tarapoto.


Thats good to know about!

I have been looking at a B&B in Arequipa that has two bedrooms together for about 200 and then full board for 15 a week (x3 is 45 x4 weeks is 180) so with no expenses for utilities its a very nice place by the pictures and tv and internet too (+air conditioning). Seems like a dream for us. We could conceivably get along without any extra income but I would like to work a little to have travel money, so that its a nice city with language schools makes it a plus (close to the border too! :) )

I am now going to investigate Tarapoto (I think somewhere I saw a video of that hall being built...hmm)
Thanks for the info!
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby pelirojaperuanac » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:44 pm

I am a missionary and I work with people with disabilities. I would actually discourage you from coming after reading all you have written. Life with a disability in Peru is harsh, cruel, unfair... the laws that have governed access to education, buildings, work, etc in the USA for the past 25 years are beginning to be considered here. There are some "laws" but they are mere suggestions. I live in a new apartment building... lived as simply as you describe with a family in San Martin de Porres (in Lima) for over a year, then my own VERY simple apartment for another year until it was just too dangerous... I could not really be out and walking around. A 3 wheeled bike... those are awesome and I have friends who use those in the USA, but the traffic here is a nightmare. I barely venture out on my 2 wheeled bike in Magdalena where there are sidewalks. Not to mention the risk of it being stolen or you being robbed. Work... there is unfortunatly still a lot of discrimination if someone sees you have a disability. YES, people with disabilities are given hope when they see someone else with a disability, and you could really be of encouragment, but you can also do that in the USA! Surely there is missionary work the be done in the USA. You have more possibilities there for your kids as well. Unless you have come and seen, I would (with respect for your desire to serve God) highly discourage you from coming. Life here demands a lot of walking!
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby rama0929 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:57 pm

imtori wrote:
rama0929 wrote:Ah, you're a Jehovah's Witness. My sister and my bro-in-law are serving in Ayacucho. I'm not sure as to how it works, but I think they tend to send you where the need is great. I don't think you'll be spending much time in Lima. They sent my brother and his wife to Vilcas.

At any rate, once you get in touch with people there, they'll be able to assist you via their network of brothers and sisters.

How nice! Do you live there too? Give them my greetings!


I don't live there, I live in the States. Do you skype? I can send you their contact information, and they'd be able to flesh out details or at the very least point you in the right direction. Chances are if you interact with Bethel in Lima, you'll probably hear of Bro & Sis Thom. My brother and sister in law also went down to Peru (Vilcas), but Cuñada couldn't make the adjustment, so they had to come back. He wants to return, she'll kill him if he does :lol:. They're planning on going to Honduras to serve there.

Also, if it's possible, see if you can grasp Quechua.
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby rama0929 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:22 am

imtori wrote:The experience I am looking for is living with less,


And you will in Lima, depending on where you settle. A couple of my friends live or lived in small apartments with their families, and IIRC they were paying less than $200 a month in the Los Olivos section of Lima. One apartment was on the ground floor, the other was up a flight of spiral staircases.

Again, keep in contact with your Hermanos alla, and they'll keep you in mind when trying to find a place. You may wind up staying with them, or they may find a place at a cut rate.

I don't walk far because of knee trouble, but I have a cane, and I'm sure there are plenty of Peruvians with similar disabilities.


And there are; you'll see all kinds in Lima. I still don't think a 3 wheeler is feasible down there, I speak from experience staying in the less well to do areas. My mom had a cane, and she was able to get along fine for the most part in Ayacucho (once she got acclimated to the altitude). Matter of fact, she didn't need her cane, which says a lot given that there is nothing but hills up there.

Personally, I think you may be a bit too optimistic, but that doesn't mean that you won't find what you're looking for. Give it a shot, at the very least it will be a learning experience. As per my previous entry, I can give you contact information for my sister in Ayacucho, my mom here in the States and my brother, also in the States.

Out of curiosity, what is the extent of your knowledge about Lima?
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby adrian Thorne » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:36 am

AV. El Cortijo 329 is a mixed area of low income and middle class families of all denominations, but predominently Catholic. A lot of the families occupy the land illegally and could be evicted at any time. There may be some very cheap accomodation but you need to talk to your church and discuss the possabillity of a host family, which i believe would be in your best interest. It is close to Jockey Plaza, a large shopping mall, and the American embassy, English speaking people would be few and far between in the community, making Spanish an important factor. I admire your tenasity but I think you would be in a dangerous situation for both you and your children. There is no support here for either able bodied or disabled. We will always offer friendship but that does not keep you healthy with full bellies.
Very Best Wishes and I hope you make the right decision.
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby euroman » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:57 pm

Another option is Moyobamba. It`s 2 hours drive from Tarapoto.
Less busy and much smaller than Tarapoto.
The temperature is a bit lower than in Tarapoto. Sure, you don´t need airco.
It`s a very safe, clean city with very friendly people.
It`s famous for it`s banos thermales. I always visit them when I am in Moyobamba. The entry fee is 1.50 soles.
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Re: Cost of living in Peru

Postby glober » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:19 pm

To be clear, it isn't. There are areas that cater to tourists, but Lima isn't mostly tourists.

Let me be more clear, I am under the impression that the majority of the more vocal participants on this board are of the wealthier business man or retiree expat community. (By wealthy I mean wealthy enough to think its impossible to live on 600 a month) People who often talk about paying 4000 a month in rent for instance. I am talking about going to a third-world country for missionary service. If air conditioning is available I will certainly want one, who wouldn't? But I certainly don't expect to have it.

The experience I am looking for is living with less, here in the states, if you can't pay for electricity and air conditioning, and cable tv and on and on and on then you are subject to a police state mentality. I live in a house with a rent of 602 a month(I pay 73 on section 8) elect of 170 and we are still freezing in the winter because I can't turn it up higher, a gas bill of 130 and we only use it to heat hot water, 58 for telephone, 100 for misc household supplies, 60 for medicines. with those expenses and transportation and food. i dont have enough money left for food so I am on foodstamps that gives me almost 300 dollars are we are hungry the last half of the month because i refuse to buy cheap junk food. So for two weeks we eat fresh vegetables and then two weeks we eat rice and beans. Meat? yeah right! (ok once in a while we do have a little)

We lived in conditions like you mention for almost two years without electricity before my disability pension began (it took over 4 years of appeals to get on disability) and even though we were happy and making the best of it the state came in to "help" and then when I didn't qualify for their help because lo and behold I was not a drug addict, or alcoholic, not mentally ill, or beating my kids that therefore there was no help for me. Actually I think the conditions were actually worse, because of the fear, that living in this police state will do to your peace of mind. If "the powers that be" decide they can take even that little bit away from you.
Here when people see you with no electricity washing your clothes in the yard, hanging them to dry in the sunlight, and happily! They call the authorities... lol

I don't walk far because of knee trouble, but I have a cane, and I'm sure there are plenty of Peruvians with similar disabilities. When you are a person with trouble, it is rejuvenating to be faced with those who would think you "have it all".
I know that I won't need food-stamps, or Medicaid, or Section 8 in Peru, I can actually make my own way living on the economy as the natives of the land who have nothing do. And because of my small pension I, even I, have something to offer them! (Not my money but my skills, and more importantly my message of Hope)

Incidentally, I appreciate your concern, so much! I know that Jehovah, seeing my heartfelt desire to be useful will bless me, and I have no fear.

PS Yes we have been homeschooling for most of their lives! We are all learning Spanish and they are actually half Mexican- so they have an incentive to learn. They are very excited about this journey!

PS again: I just watched your video! You made it sound like a terrible hovel ( I was thinking about cardboard and dirt) but it actually looks quite nice! A little paint and a couple rugs thrown here and there, and the sink already has a drainboard! lol All you need is a table for counterspace and you got it made!



May I ask you (I only read to this post you made), Have you ever been outside the U.S? Because you seem to talk about the "outside world" like you understand it from Hollywood movies (no insult intended, I am just trying to understand if you have any idea of the rest of the world, and especially, third world countries).

Regards
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby PeruFan » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:41 pm

imtori,

I think I understand the comments and concerns of many people here. I find myself troubled by your plans. I just feel like you might not understand the big picture of what living in Peru is really all about. I personally don't mean to be rude, and I don't think most people here are either.

I find myself asking the following questions;

1. If you have teenagers, what do you plan to do with them after they finish high school? (I understand that you home school) They are not going to be able to work in Peru. How will you afford to educate them in Lima for college? It seems their options are going to be very limited in a few years when they finish their schooling.

2. Did I understand you to say you wanted to find work, to supplement your income? Unemployment is a problem in Peru. Under-employment is a HUGE problem in Peru. There are countless Peruvians looking for work. You and your children are not going to be able to find work. I have a hard time imagining that you will ever qualify for a visa that would allow you to work. No visa I am aware of, for a missionary, is going to allow you to have any form of income in Peru. (from Peruvian sources)

3. Do you have any communication skills in Spanish? I find people all the time that took high school or college Spanish. They come and expect to be able to communicate. They are shocked by how they don't understand and are not understood. You are not going to have an easy time of it here if you don't have a decent grasp on the language. Sure, you can always find English speakers, but in the areas you are thinking of living in, English speakers are going to be rarer.

4. Do you have an "exit strategy?" If you read through this message board you will find people who are in a sense "stranded" in Peru. They don't have the money to leave, and they have no support group to help them here. I would never wish such a thing on you or your children.

5. What health problems do you have? If you are disabled, you can perhaps live perfectly here in Peru. However, some conditions will be greatly complicated by the damp Peruvian winters. I know people with arthritis that suffer tremendously because of Lima's climate. Remember some diseases are difficult to deal with here. Just make sure there are treatment options if you need them.

I don't want to be the one bringing bad news. If you research it and God leads you here, more power to you! May God give you wisdom as you investigate all of this.
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby Polaron » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:11 am

Another option would be to stay in Arkansas. The cost of living there is low compared to the rest of the country, and people in the bible belt really get into religious mythology. Furthermore, you won't have to move or learn to speak Spanish. Arkansas is a beautiful state, especially the Ozarks.
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby Saramira222 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:56 am

Hello Tori,

I also feel compelled to offer a few warnings. Since I have back trouble and sometimes have to use a cane, I will tell you that it is much easier to deal with in the U.S. (and I lived in a large city, Los Angeles). There, buses, traffic and generally many places are set up to help disabled people. Here, you often have to run to get across the street safely, there are lots of old-fashioned staircases that are hard to manage when you are not in good shape, and in general, a lot of steps and levels in and out of houses that you need to be aware of.

Another point I have not seen mentioned in terms of work - there is a huge prejudice here against women who are no longer young. The ads will often advertise for a señorita under 25. I found out from my Peruvian family, and from personal experience that the odds of getting a part-time job were nearly zero. They want young and cute, and they can get it for a terrible wage. When you mentioned $5 an hour, even that is higher than the minimum wage here. Also, are you aware of how much the dollar has devalued? I live on a small income, although higher than yours, it is low, and my son is self-supporting in the states. When I arrived a little less than two years ago, the dollar was at about 3.08 soles per. Now it is down t0 2.77. It is not much when you have a great income, but when every dollar counts, it affects the budget.

I, too, am concerned about your teenage boys, not just in terms of education, but general safety. Even though they are half Mexican, I am sure they will stand out as foreigners. My son is 3/4 Latin and looks it, unlike myself, but his bearing, clothes and general attitude made him an obvious tourist when he visited me here. He is also a grown man and can take care of himself. For teenage boys, living in maybe dicey areas, it could be downright dangerous for them and traumatic in terms of finding a peer group, etc. which is so important at that age.

I agree with what someone said about the reality of living here being quite different than what you could imagine. Having come here many times throughout my life on vacation and having a great time in the warmth of my family's homes, which I still have, by the way, I find it another ballgame to survive and deal with all of the different cultural ways that exist here, and that is with fluent Spanish.

I think your motives are noble, but I also think that to discount the value of having subsidized housing, food stamps and medical care in order to come to a place with no safety net might be more daunting than you realize. I have lived as a single mother in the USA and I would not have wanted to do it here without plenty of money to back it up. I hope that you will read some of the other threads on this website (struggling to adjust to life in Lima comes to mind) and think hard before you come to a decision. I wish you the best whatever you decide to do, Tori.
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby Nate » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:42 pm

There's an atheist group somewhere o nthis forum that may need some help and saving! :wink:
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby euroman » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:45 pm

You also have to consider that there are very few provisions for disabled people in Peru.

Special walking ramps and disabled toilets are almost no existing. (I`ve only seen them in areas like Miraflores and San Isidro but that`s not the place for you if you are on a small budget.) Nobody stops at zebra crossing. You almost need a olympic gold medal for running if you want to cross a busy street. I am probably one of the few people who helps an old person crossing the street.

If you live in an appartment building, You have to be lucky if the elevator is working and most elevators are very small.(Most building with less than 5 floors don´t have an elevator)

Still, you can live a better life in Peru. Food costs are very low and if you keep away from the big cities, you can find a nice and affordable place to rent. Healtcare: some pharmacias and boticas offer free doctor consultancy service.
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Re: Missionary wants to move to Peru - Advice?

Postby PeruFan » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:06 pm

Imtori, Did we scare you off? I want to emphasize that nobody here wants to run you away or discourage you. I just think folks can't imagine all the details of living in Peru. We absolutely love living in Peru. Just the tone of your posts caused doubt in my mind if you really knew what it was really all about. Just make sure you investigate every angle.

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