A Família espiritual fundada por Madre Teresa de Calcutá
Tips for volunteering in Peru
by Sonya Apodaca VolunteerCharity Works
Four Missionaries of Charity houses are located in Peru, one each in Lima, Juli, Cuzco and Chimbote. The houses serve children and the elderly, many of whom are physically and mentally challenged as well as orphaned. Some locations regularly feed the hungry in their community. Others distribute provisions to the poor, teach catechism, and provide services as needed and possible.
It is recommended that you call or write to the mother superior of the location(s) where you want to volunteer, as these locations do not host regular orientation and registration meetings. They will appreciate knowing in advance that you are coming.
Visiting hours are generally from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m. every day except Thursday and, in some locations, Sunday. Volunteer work hours can differ slightly from visiting hours depending on need. International volunteers commonly work only in the morning. Ask the sisters about their needs.
The sisters speak English but most residents, employees and local volunteers do not. If you do not already know some Spanish, learning at least basic words and phrases will be extremely helpful not to mention culturally respectful.
It is wise to get vaccination shots prior to traveling. The Center for Disease Control web site is an excellent resource and should be consulted along with your doctor. Usual precautions apply regarding drinking water and eating food while in a foreign country.
Volunteers are responsible for arranging their own travel and accommodations. A few tips are provided below but it is recommended to always consult travel guides and sites for the most current information.
Physical address: 28 de Julio 2821
Phone: 011 51 474-2534 (While in Lima, local calls need dial only 1 474-2534. 1 is the city code.)
In Lima, Missionaries of Charity is located in the district (neighborhood) of La Victoria north of central Lima. Expect most locals to cringe when you mention La Victoria because it has a bad reputation, but do not be discouraged from going there to volunteer. Do take precautions, e.g. do not wear jewelry including watches and do not take any valuables such as mobile phone, camera, purse, or other items that might get attention especially in an extremely poor neighborhood.
Arrange for a taxi service to drop you off and pick you up in front of, or as close as possible to, the house door located on Avenida 28 de Julio. (Note: A door is visible from the adjacent block but it is not in use and will not be opened for anyone.) A block-long vegetable market on Avenida 28 de Julio operates every morning so the driver might need to leave you at the corner where you will then walk about 20 yards to the door. Ring the bell and the door man, who generally responds quickly to the buzzing, will unlock the door to let you inside.
If you arrange to be picked up after 11:30 a.m., the market normally clears out by then and the taxi can drive up curbside directly in front of the Missionaries of Charity door. Some taxi drivers might refuse to venture into La Victoria due to its reputation but might have a change of heart when they hear where you are going to volunteer. Arrange a day or at least several hours in advance for round-trip transportation, and always carry the taxi service phone number on your person. A safe and reliable taxi service in Lima is Taxi Seguro (275-2020).
Physical address: Jiron Juli #385
Phone: 011 51 5155-4102
Juli is located in the deep south of Peru, about an hour’s drive south of the better known city of Puno. Both are on the bank of Lake Titikaka and at high altitude. Be sure to bring altitude remedies with you and allow at least one day to rest until you adjust. Bring layers of clothes as it can be warm during daylight hours then get very cold when the sun goes down.
The fastest and most direct route to Juli from Lima is via airplane to Juliaca, then in a taxi van called a “collectivo” from the Juliaca airport to Juli. The collectivo is likely to squeeze more than 14 passengers into a 14-passenger van. Luggage is tied onto the top of the van. Local street vendors rely heavily on this mode of transportation so several stops along the way are common. Be sure to confirm cost directly with the driver prior to the ride and expect to pay a very economical 20 soles (approximately 15 soles to Puno plus 4 soles to Juli). In comparison, a private taxi will cost approximately 80 soles to Puno alone which is only about a third of the distance to Juli. A morning flight to Juliaca is recommended to allow plenty of time for travel by rode and arrival in Juli during daylight hours. Note: Puno and Juli are both in the region of Puno.
The sisters in Juli might be able to offer a guest room if it is available. Expect clean but very basic accommodations with limited plumbing. Juli is a small village and finding accommodations might be a challenge so be flexible on travel dates, allow ample planning time, and be open to alternatives such as home stays.
Internet cafes are plentiful and very affordable in Juli, usually one sole for 20 minutes. There are no money exchange houses or ATMs in Juli but there is at least one Peruvian bank located close to (not on) the Plaza de Armas. Expect local banks to be very busy with long lines, arbitrary hours, and less favorable than average exchange rates.
Physical address: Av. Victor Raul de la Torre #235 (Next to the regional emergency hospital.)
Phone: 011 51 8425-6932
““Pedi a Nossa Senhora para manter a Sociedade escondida nas cinco feridas de Jesus." (Madre Teresa de Calcutá)
Em 1946, Madre Teresa recebeu a inspiração para fundar os Missionários da Caridade em resposta ao apelo de Cristo, que ela o faz conhecido aos mais pobres dos pobres por seu humilde serviço de amor. Ela imaginou uma congregação de mulheres e recebeu sua primeira companheira em março de 1949. A "pequena Sociedade" de doze membros foi oficialmente criada em 7 de outubro de 1950. As filiais religiosas incluem as Irmãs, seguidas pelos Irmãos em 25 de março de 1963, depois as Irmãs Contemplativas em 25 de junho de 1976, os Irmãos Contemplativos em 19 de março de 1979 e os Padres em 31 de outubro de 1984.
Como família religiosa, as Irmãs ativas e contemplativas compõem uma congregação, enquanto os Irmãos e Padres são três congregações separadas. Todos compartilham o carisma da Madre Teresa para saciar a sede de amor de Deus pela santidade pessoal e trabalhando para a salvação e a santificação dos mais pobres dos pobres. Para todas as Irmãs, Irmãos e Pais, a Madre Teresa é "Mãe".
Para os leigos, a Madre Teresa estabeleceu os colegas de trabalho em 29 de março de 1969 e os colaboradores dos Doentes e dos Sofrimentos em 13 de janeiro de 1953.
Os missionários leigos da caridade foram fundados em 13 de abril de 1987.