Last Updated: 03/23/2021 

Peru has been reporting an average of more than 6,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of February and has faced a shortage of oxygen, hospital beds and ICU units during its second wave of the pandemic. The northern Amazon basin, including the Peruvian state of Loreto, is a regional hot spot for the virus. Hunger is increasing in Peru, as household incomes have fallen by an average of 33% since the beginning of the pandemic. The national vaccination program began in February. 

All Compassion centers have suspended on-site children's and youths' activities. The national staff and church partners are monitoring children and families who are vulnerable due to extreme poverty, possible abuse or health complications. Partner churches are working closely with local authorities to deliver supplies to families and have been able to distribute over 690,700 food packs and 466,000 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have helped nearly 41,000 individuals access medical support during the pandemic. 

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Peru?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Peru, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in Peru are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute about 690,700 food packs and 466,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

The majority of letters are delayed in Peru, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in Peru. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

Story From the Field

It’s breakfast time for 14-year-old Nicol and her cousins and grandmother, who all share a home together in the Peruvian jungle. But there is nothing to eat. Nicol hears a noise outside and sees someone carrying a bag up the path to the house.

“I think our sponsors are sending us groceries again! We just ran out of the food we had,” says Nicol, as she hugs her grandmother and thanks God for another prayer answered.

Nicol and three of her cousins are registered in the Compassion center in their community. Their parents all left eight years ago to find work in the city, leaving grandmother Esperanza to raise nine grandchildren. The money Nicol’s parents used to send stopped abruptly during the pandemic.

“They can’t send anything now, they don’t have jobs. It broke my heart to hear my grandkids cry because they were too hungry,” says Esperanza.

Esperanza and her grandchildren represent just one of the 379 families the Compassion center is serving and supporting during this trying time.

“The need is great, but being there for these families is a joy and a blessing,” says Alfredo, the center director. “The Word of God says we must help our neighbor and those in need. Thanks to Compassion and our sponsors, we are able to do that.”

How can I pray for Peru?

As partner churches plan for the upcoming year, pray that God will inspire and remind them that he can and will do amazing things through them even in a pandemic.

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