Peru sits in the west-central region of South America and extends 1,500 miles along the Pacific Ocean coast. The country shares borders with Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, and Chile. The Andes Mountains run through western Peru, and to the east are the Amazon River and rainforest.

  • Population: 29,987,800
  • Life Expectancy: 75 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 85%
  • School Enrollment: 97%
  • Land Mass: 496,224 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 90%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 18/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 5,880

Facts about Peru

Almost 40 percent of children and adolescents in Peru are living in poverty.

Though Peru’s economic growth has been crucial in reducing poverty and generating employment, it has not yet been enough to close several social gaps and to provide sustainable employment for everyone. Not all regions of the country enjoy equal well-being.

Many Peruvian children will drop out of school to work and support their family. Up to 33 percent of children ages 6-14 are employed. Many end up working in dangerous mining or construction sites.

Many families struggle with food insecurity, which especially threatens the health of children. The World Food Program estimates that more than 18 percent of children under the age of 5 are chronically malnourished, and more than 37 percent have anemia.

Other health concerns include hepatitis A, typhoid fever, dengue fever, and malaria.

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Progress in Peru

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2013.

  • Strengthened child protection networks by equipping local committees to advocate for children’s rights, and trained them on how to respond in cases of abuse.

  • Helped give children a voice in community decisions that affect their lives by supporting youth networks and providing leadership training for adolescents.

  • Worked to increase reading comprehension in children between the ages of 6 and 11 by partnering with schools to incorporate improved teaching methods.

  • Encouraged families to create reading spaces in their homes, giving parents a way to be involved in their children’s education and helping kids improve their literacy skills.

  • Assisted early childhood development centers, helping prepare young children for primary education.

  • Trained parents to help facilitate early childhood development centers, equipping the community to run them independently.

  • Provided training for families on age-appropriate feeding practices for young children, helping prevent malnutrition.

  • Held demonstration sessions for families on sanitary food preparation, helping reduce cases of diarrhea among children.

  • Helped families create healthier home environments by providing them with improved stoves and water connections in their homes.

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    World Vision in Peru Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Peru to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 18,600 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Peru. Highlights include:

    • Helping those affected by earthquakes by providing temporary shelters, blankets, water, food, kitchen supplies, and other relief.
    • Constructing improved stoves and hand-washing facilities for families to promote good health.
    • Having 380 communities participate in training sessions regarding nutritious food.

    World Vision History in Peru

    World Vision assistance in Peru dates back to a 1965 pastors conference. Child sponsorship began in 1975, and an office was opened in 1982. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:

    • Offering communities literacy, health, and hygiene education, as well as focusing on agricultural development during the 1970s.
    • Helping thousands of people affected by an earthquake, drought, and floods in the 1980s.
    • Offering educational scholarships to students training in social work in the 1990s.
    • Improving farming techniques to increase agricultural growth and reduce poverty in the Cusco community during the beginning of the 21st century.
    • Providing thousands of families affected by the 2007 earthquake with temporary shelters, clothing, blankets, food, and more.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Peru sits in the west-central region of South America and extends 1,500 miles along the Pacific Ocean coast. The country shares borders with Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, and Chile. The Andes Mountains run through west Peru, and to the east are the Amazon River and rainforest.

    Natural resources include copper, silver, gold, petroleum, timber, fish, iron ore, coal, phosphate, hydropower, potassium products, and natural gas.

    Peru is the fourth-most populous country in South America, with nearly 30 million people. Most Peruvians are of Amerindian or mestizo (a mixture of Amerindian and European) descent. Spanish and Quechua are the official languages, but residents speak several indigenous languages as well.

    Most people work in service or industry sectors. Mining and fishing, as well as agriculture, are key components of the nation’s economy. Some agricultural products are coffee, cotton, asparagus, and cocoa.

    Families are important, and married children may live with their parents until they can afford their own home.


    The Incas ruled ancient Peru until the Spanish took control in the 1500s. Peru gained its independence in July 1821, but internal conflicts and wars with Spain and Chile spanned the next 100 years.

    Despite a 1933 constitution that established democratic rule, military control dominated the country until the 1980s. Since then, Peru’s presidents have faced terrorist organizations, economic troubles, corruption, and a growing drug trade.

    A powerful 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck in 2007 and affected over 500,000 people, destroying at least 80 percent of houses and social service infrastructures in many southern cities.

    Free elections continue today despite past political tensions.

    Prayer Requests for Peru

    • That more youth would have the opportunity to pursue higher education.
    • For effective partnerships with local churches, so united efforts can bring help to more families.
    • For children to have a voice and be able to participate in the development of their communities.
    • For the protection and care of vulnerable children who face violence and abuse.