Here’s a letter from Julissa about our Peru trip. It’s also an invitation for those who may want to join us…
Words cannot express how joyful I feel to be writing this letter to you. It is like a dream come true for me and my family. This will be our third trip as volunteers in Peru!! Woohoo!! Thanks for your support in helping us go and please let me know if you want to join us.
Some of you might not know who we are as a family. I’m from Peru and Jason’s from California. Fortunately, we both speak each other’s language and love each other’s culture. As a couple, we’ve been traveling to Peru ever since getting engaged in 2003. We now have two wonderful children, Gabriela and Santiago, ages 4 and 7. They come with us to Lima for family visits and volunteering as often as possible. Our Peruvian family and friends always show us such incredible hospitality. Like good Latinos, they know how to celebrate life and make us feel like guests of honor.
Lima is the capital city of Peru, with a population size of almost 10 million. You will see a lot of poverty in Lima, including many children selling candy or gum along the busiest streets during traffic. On the other hand, there is also a lot of extreme wealth. You will see signs of that the closer you get to the beach. Those districts have fancy malls, American-looking fashion, nice cars, tall buildings, etc. The traffic all over Lima is often very congested and unpleasant. But Peruvians do not seem as bound to the clock as us Americans, so on most occasions it is ok to be “late.” Peruvian food is delicious (see “How Food Became Religion in Peru’s Capital City”). You will love the unique flavors and ingredients.
The neighborhood we plan to spend most of our time in is pretty far away from the beach. Our mission will be to serve at a Vineyard church there. They have volunteers from the church to support the children of their neighborhood through youth groups, one-on-one interaction, and creating little communities in their homes.
There is so much need and, at the same time, they already have so many willing people who do an amazing job in that community. When we were there these last two trips (see here and here), Jason was able to meet with some of their families to do mental health assessments (he is an MFT). He also spoke with a group of parents and staff from the ministry to talk about parenting. My father-in-law, Ken, led music and worship leading workshops. I primarily focused on building relationships and hearing people’s stories.
We will be going again this June 21st-June 30th, 2016. Winter over there (during our summer). The trip will last approximately 9 days: two days of traveling and seven days of ministry. That said, anyone is welcome to stay longer if they want to and we can help with recommendations on where to go. For example, some may want to travel to other parts of Peru (i.e., Machu Picchu, the Amazon jungle, or the Andes).
During this project, Jason and I will arrange for everyone’s accommodations and transportation to and from the site. Church members provide us with a room and sometimes even meals for our whole group. We make it a point to bless them along the way as well. The budget for our trip includes: air travel, taxi/bus fare, food, sightseeing, and gifts for our hosts. All in all, the whole trip can be done for around $1000 (for an individual).
We would like to plan a few meetings before the trip to get to know each other and talk more in detail about what to expect. We are very excited to start this process and will let you know about the dates and times for those meetings as we get a response from those who want to go. Again, please call or email with any questions (530-354-1312 or julissa AT hotmail DOT com).
Julissa and Jason Winton