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.

  • Population: 24,077,000
  • Life Expectancy: 74 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 82%
  • School Enrollment: 97%
  • Land Mass: 496,224 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 90%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 19/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 4,710

Facts about Peru

Economic Development

Many Peruvians struggle with poverty. More than eight percent of workers are unemployed and over 44 percent of Peruvians live below the poverty line.

Disaster Response

Terrorism, violence, drug trafficking, and corruption over the years have challenged the country's development.

Food & Agriculture

Many families struggle with food insecurity, which especially threatens the health of children. The World Food Program estimates that about 24 percent of children under the age of 5 are chronically malnourished.


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 2012.

  • Trained farmers in improved farming methods and animal husbandry to increase agricultural productivity.

  • Operated childhood development centers, where children ages 3 to 5 participate in fun learning activities to prepare them for school.

  • Implemented reading programs and created school reading rooms to improve students' academic skills and promote literacy.

  • Organized youth groups, which provide young people with leadership opportunities, recreational activities, and life-skills training.

  • Trained parents in child development, strengthening their ability to provide educationally stimulating activities for their preschool-age children.

  • Worked with partner organizations to distribute food, blankets, and building materials to families affected by severe flooding and landslides.

  • Provided vocational and business training for community members to help them start small businesses in fields such as embroidery and welding.

  • Facilitated entrepreneurship and leadership classes for young people to improve their job skills.

  • Continued to raise awareness of child rights and protection through community advocacy groups and children's clubs.

  • Trained community organizations in leadership and management, equipping them to continue development work in the community.

  • Trained caregivers in nutrition, breastfeeding, and the treatment of diarrhea, working to improve the health of children.

  • Monitored children's health and helped sick children access medical treatment, in partnership with local health agencies.

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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 17,800 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Peru. Highlights include:

    • Offering textile production training to women in remote Andean villages to improve their living conditions.
    • Providing loans and other microfinance opportunities to small business owners to help reduce poverty.

    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 over 28 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

    • Children to have a voice and be able to participate in the development of their communities.
    • The protection and care of vulnerable children who face violence and abuse.