The Tragedy of Poverty in Lima, Peru

Poverty in Lima Peru

Volunteers serving at Puericultorio  Perez Aranibar (PPA) typically accompany local partners on home visits. These journal excerpts depict such a day through the words of Global Volunteer, Mykaela.  After witnessing the areas of extreme poverty in Lima, Peru and the surrounding areas, she concluded that poverty must be the worst of all evils.  Most of the children living at PPA come from such neighborhoods.

At the PPA, Elizabeth, a PPA social worker and Mr. Luis, our driver, directed our bus out towards the shanty towns for our visit to children’s homes. As we drove further away from the Miraflores area, Lima started to change. It was like an entirely different city.

Poverty in Lima Peru

Volunteers playing soccer with the children at PPA.

When we arrived at the first neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, the first house we visited was the home of a mom who is addicted to alcohol and street drugs. She wanted her children (who are living at the PPA) returned to her. She was attending therapy with the Ministry of Women. The grandma of the kids could possibly take them. Elizabeth did not seem very hopeful about the situation.

Then we headed to the second home. We ended up at a true Peruvian market. One of the vendors in the market was the grandma of the second family of children.  She wanted the kids back, but it would be hard for her to support them. The mother of the children was a drug addict and did not want her children back.  The grandma was happy to show us her fruit stand and take pictures with us. The market was filled with real Peruvian music and freshly slaughtered chickens. The conditions were quite shocking for many members of the group.

The third stop was at a small, tidy home. The father had a new partner and hoped (the government) would return his children to him. There was a chance he could get his children back and he seemed ready to do so.

At that point, it was late in the day so we ate a very late lunch. The poverty in Lima, Peru gave us a lot to reflect on.  For many of us, the day of home visits was life changing.

I believe poverty must be the worst of all evils, because seeds of all other evils seem to thrive in the presence of poverty.

Our first week in Peru truly impacted each one of us. Learn how to gain a first-hand perspective of these lessons as a volunteer in Peru with Global Volunteers.

Poverty in Lima Peru

Children gaze out from a shanty town in Lima.  The soccer field where they stand took 14 years to build by hand.

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