What To Bring
Make Certain that You Have a Valid Passport
A copy of this document is not sufficient. Check the expiration date. There should be at least 6 months beyond the end of the trip before it expires. Some countries will not allow entrance unless there is a 6 month buffer. Leave one copy at home. Forward another copy to me along with your other paperwork.
Check with your international carrier to make sure the exit fee is included in your flight cost.
Check with your doctor or go to your local health department to get these shots. For the trip to Peru, none of these are required, but you need to discuss your risks and options with your medical provider:
Hepatitis A & B
Tetanus (required to be current) Childhood immunizations should be up-to-date.
A preventative measure against Malaria -- Doxycycline (recommended). This is a protection from malaria and helps to bolster your immune system against the typical digestive disorders that can affect you while traveling.
Travel insurance would be a good thing to invest in. Check with your travel agent for a reputable source for this coverage. Check to make sure that it covers the following: medical, hospitalization, evacuation, lost luggage, lost passport & trip cancellation, etc. Travel insurance usually does not cover any preexisting health conditions.
Jeans, light weight pants or shorts and t-shirts/tank tops are appropriate for the work day. A light, water resistant windbreaker, is good for a rainy evening. If you are going to Cuzco you will definitely need warmer clothes.
Church: The religious community is conservative in their worship dress. For the ladies, skirts and blouses are appropriate for worship services. Guys should bring long slacks and a short sleeve dress shirt.
There are churches in Iquitos of every mainstream denomination, and if you wish, we will arrange the schedule so that your group can have a meaningful worship experience with a Peruvian flavor.
Suggestion: Bring clothing that you wish to leave with the people in Peru or use to trade for souvenirs. They'll be thrilled and you will have more room in your suitcase for your souvenirs. If you bring clothes or shoes specifically to give away that are not the ones you are wearing, please bring smaller sizes. These are small people. Most shoes for example, need to be smaller than a size seven women's or size 10 and smaller for a man. They can not use winter clothes, large sizes or shoes the size of canoes. ;-)
When you see how the average person in Iquitos dresses and how many days in a row they wear the same clothing, you will understand why it is not necessary to have a different "outfit" every day. We will have more earthly possessions in our suitcases then most of these people own. We want to be neat, clean and modest as we work with the People of Peru.
Leave Extravagant Jewelry at home: This is an item that simply draws attention to the difference between our financial situation, and that of the people we are here to serve. Avoid large dangling earrings, studs are fine.
Inexpensive sunglasses, bandannas, T-shirts, watches, etc., make great gifts or can be used for trade in the jungle villages.
Swimming suit (large enough to cover all strategic areas)
Comfortable Shoes (forget fashion), running shoes or lightweight hiking shoes and sandals, or shower thongs. Keens or Teva's are great. Footwear that provide comfort, fresh air and protected toes are perfect.
There are cheap and easy laundry services available. (you pay) or you could wash your clothes by hand, like 3/4 of a million other people in Iquitos. ;-)
Personal Care Items
Contact wearers: Along with your contacts bring a pair of glasses, if possible. There is a log of dust on the roads. Toiletries (brush, comb, shampoo, soap, toothbrush & paste, deodorant, etc.) Towel & washcloth.
Adequate supply of personal medications. Hand sanitizer (a must)
One roll of toilet tissue, insect repellent, sunblock
Don't Panic..if you forget any of the above except your contacts and special medication, you can buy any or all of this stuff in town.
Sleeping pad (foam or the small self-inflatable type) and light weight blanket, if your group is going to stay overnight in the jungle. This will make your night in the airport much more tolerable also. At the headquarters there are beds, mattresses and sheets. In the jungle you will need the sleeping pad so there are two times you will be glad you have it. Most outdoor stores carry the fleece sleeping bag liners (around $12). This is all you will ever need for warmth and most of the time not even that. If you have a small travel pillow, you may want to bring it.
Snacks: Trail mix and dried fruit for traveling (pack it in your carry-on. The children love granola bars. There are days when the meals get spread out a bit, so a take along snack is never a bad idea. You can buy many different types of snack food in Iquitos...chips, cookies, crackers etc..don't worry!
Camera and memory cards
Peru runs on a 220 volt electrical system. Many electrical items have 110 volt and 220 volt capabilities, check them out or ask someone that knows. This will save you from buying a converter. ( Both of my camera chargers are dual current and plug directly into the outlet in Peru). We have plenty of converters.
A journal to record your adventures and a picture of your family to show your new friends.
Depending on the nature of the trip and what materials or supplies are needed for our activities, there may be items supplied by People of Peru Project, that each group member will need to pack in their extra suitcase. A box or trunk may be assigned to you, as we are allowed to take two checked bags each. Your group leader will distribute these supplies to you, well in advance of the trip so that you can incorporate them into your packing strategy. I suggest that you pack your camera, medications, glasses or contacts and other items that cannot be replaced, in your carry-on bag.
What Not to Bring
We are an Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug free organization. As in any culture, there are individuals in Peru who have turned to substance abuse as an escape from the realities of life, at the expense of their families. Because of our emphasis on healthy life styles and avoiding the destruction that we see every day that is caused by substance abuse, we do not want to confuse the population that we work with or dilute our position on this topic.
People of Peru Project is a high profile organization in the city of Iquitos. The local people know who we are and who our volunteers are. As a host organization, we reserve the right to be represented that way and keep the theme of our health and social services message consistent. Thank you for your cooperation.