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Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:18 PM

Peru is on the West Coast of South America, south of the Equator, between 0 and 18 degrees south latitude and, 70 degrees and 81 degrees west longitude. Three times the geographic size of California, with a population of about 27.94 million people, Peru is the fifth most populated country in Latin America.

The country has four distinct geographic areas: the narrow coastal desert region (about 25 to 40 miles wide), barren except for irrigated valleys; the Andean highlands or sierra, containing some of the world's highest mountains; the "ceja de montana" (eyebrow of the mountain), a long narrow strip of mountainous jungle on the eastern slope of the Andes; and the selva or rain forest area which covers over half the country, including the vast Amazon River Basin and the Madre de Dios River Basin.

The sierra, covering one-fourth of Peru, is an area of uneven population distribution, rich in mineral wealth. Many of its inhabitants live at elevations above 10,000 feet. The selva region is sparsely populated and only partially explored. The climate in the "ceja de montana" varies with the elevation from temperate to tropical.

Because Lima lies on an axis of instability in the Earth's crust, seismic activity is common. Light earthquakes called "temblores" occur but seldom cause damage. A strong earthquake occurred in Lima, Callao and environs on May 24, 1940, causing major damage with over 2,000 casualties. Serious earthquakes also occurred in Cuzco (1950), Arequipa (1958 and 1960), the Lima-Callao area (1966-74), and Chimbote and the Callejon de Huaylas (1970).

Between May 1998 and May 1999, 85 light earthquakes occurred and the strongest of these earthquakes were in Arequipa, Lima and Huancayo. Peru lies below the Equator, therefore, its seasons along the Pacific Coast, which includes Lima, are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer lasts from about mid-December through April in that region and is generally pleasant, with warm, sunny days and cool, comfortable nights. February is usually the warmest month, with an average temperature of 79 oF and humidity of 83%. Temperatures rarely range above the mid-80s. Only two distinct seasons occur in the highlands/sierra: the rainy season from December to April and a dry period the rest of the year. Temperatures fluctuate considerably depending on the weather and altitude.

Winter along the coast lasts from May or June to November and the weather is chilly and damp. Sunny days in Lima's winter are rare, particularly in July, August and September. Rain is virtually unknown; however, a fine mist often falls and fog is common. The coolest, dampest months are July and August, with average temperatures about 60 oF, rarely falling below the low 50s. Humidity is high all year, especially in winter, requiring a constant vigilance against mildew and mold.

Population Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:20 PM

Peru's 2002 population is estimated at 27.94 million, with a population growth rate of about 1.7 percent per year. The nation's population consists of many ethnic groups, of which about one-third live in the Lima metropolitan area. Indigenous peoples constitute about 35 percent of the population, while Peruvian of mixed indigenous and European descent ("mestizo") comprise almost 50 percent. Whites comprise almost 10 percent of the population, while Asians and Blacks make up less than 5 percent of the total population. In the Lima metropolitan area, the population is overwhelmingly mestizo and white, with relatively large Japanese and Chinese communities.

Peru has two official languages -Spanish and the foremost indigenous language, Quechua. Spanish is used by the government and the media, and in most forms of education and commerce. English is spoken by many educated Peruvians, and is understood in most major hotels and in many restaurants and shops catering to tourists. Amerindians who live in the Andean highlands speak Quechua or Aymara and are ethnically distinct from the diverse indigenous groups who live on the eastern side of the Andes and in the tropical lowlands adjacent to the Amazon basin. All of the indigenous languages are losing ground as increasing numbers of indigenous people move to the largest cities, where Spanish is the most commonly used language.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:24 PM

When the Spanish arrived in the early 16th century, the territory now known as Peru was part of the Inca Empire that extended from southwestern Colombia to central Chile. The aftereffects of a succession struggle in the Inca Empire between half-brothers, Atahualpa and Huascar, facilitated its conquest by a handful of adventurers led by Francisco Pizarro, who founded Lima, calling it "City of Kings".

Peru was part of Spain's American Empire for almost 300 years. Several prominent leaders of South American wars of independence played a role in Peru's liberation: Jose de San Martin proclaimed Peru's independence on July 28, 1821; and Simon Bolivar was President of Peru from 1824 to 1826. Jose Antonio Sucre won the battle of Ayacucho in 1824 (generally considered the last major engagement of the wars of independence).

Since becoming independent, Peru and its neighbors have been engaged in intermittent territorial disputes. Chile's victory over Peru and Bolivia in the War of the Pacific (1879-83) resulted in a territorial settlement in which Peru lost Arica and Tarapaca provinces to Chile. Following a serious clash between Peru and Ecuador in 1941, the Rio Protocol (of which the U.S. is one of the guarantors) established the current boundary between the two countries. Occasional brief skirmishes have occurred over the years along a part of the border area that was undemarcated. Major fighting broke out on the Peru-Ecuador border (limited to a sparsely populated jungle area) in January 1995 until the four Rio Protocol guarantors brokered a cease-fire in March 1995. The U.S. participated in monitoring the cease-fire, and along with Brazil, Argentina and Chile, helped facilitate the signing of a global and definitive peace agreement on October 26, 1998.

Throughout Peruvian history, the military has played a prominent role and coups have repeatedly interrupted civilian, constitutional governments. The last period of military rule lasted from 1968 to 1980.

For centuries the Peruvian indian population has cultivated the coca plant (Erythroxylum coca vas coca). The coca leaf is chewed as a mild stimulant and specific agent against altitude sickness, as well as in herbal tea and for some traditional or religious ceremonies. In the 1870s, the pharmaceutical industry isolated the cocaine alkaloid, which is both a powerful local anesthetic, and a highly addictive stimulant with significant potential for abuse.

An initial burst of cocaine abuse in Europe and the U.S. subsided at the time of World War I, but in the 1970s, escalating demand for cocaine in the U.S. again led to vast expansion in the limited traditional coca crops with much greater cultivation destined for illicit drug production. Since that time, cocaine has become the most significant illicit substance abused in the U.S., and is a growing problem for the rest of the world.

Peru is one of the world's largest producers of raw material for cocaine. The Peruvian people have recognized the illegal drug trafficking industry as one of their greatest domestic problems since the 1980s. It is a source of financing for terrorist groups, corruption of democratic political and judicial institutions, economic and social distortion, and devastation of the Amazon environment.

Peru returned to democratic rule in 1980 when Accion Popular, led by Fernando Belaunde Terry, educated in United States, came to power. In the 1985 elections, Alan Garcia of the center-left American Popular Revolutionary Party (APRA) won the presidency and controlled a majority of the two Houses of Congress. Alberto Fujimori, an independent candidate, was elected President in 1990. On April 5, 1992, with the support of the armed forces, President Fujimori suspended the constitution and closed down the country's congress and courts in what became known as "the auto-coup." Following pressure by the international community, Fujimori called national elections to choose a new unicameral congress in November 1992, to draft a new constitution. Fujimori's political movement, Cambio 90/Nueva Mayoria, won a majority of seats when several traditional political parties boycotted the election.

The new constitution, which the Congress drafted, was narrowly approved in a nationwide referendum in October 1993. Unlike the previous constitution, the new one allowed a sitting president to run for reelection, which Fujimori did and won by a landslide in April 1995. In 1996, the Congress passed legislation interpreting the constitutional term limits for president, making it possible for Fujimori to seek re-election in the 2000 national elections which he won in July 2000. However, in mid September with the broadcast of one short video tape showing a powerful intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, apparently bribing an opposition member of Congress, evidenced a potential criminal activity against the President's closest and most controversial adviser. In mid-November 2000, the opposition won control of Congress for the first time in eight years. This was the end for Alberto Fujimori and he extended a trip to Asia amid rumours that he was seeking political asylum. By the time his resignation was announced, it was of little surprise. On June, 2001, Alejandro Toledo was elected President. He was educated in the Unites States earning two Master's degrees and a doctoral from Stanford. Under President Fujimori, many of the problems that haunted his predecessors - including terrorism and hyperinflation - were eliminated or greatly reduced. However, other serious problems remain for Alejandro Toledo, including poverty, high unemployment, the illicit drug industry and a weak judicial branch.

Peru is divided into 24 departments and the Constitutional Province of Callao (the country's chief port, adjacent to Lima). The departments are subdivided into provinces that, in turn, are composed of districts. Municipal government is a distant second in power to the central government, with regional government a mere appendage of the latter.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:25 PM

As Spain's most important viceroyalty in South America, Peru was an art-producing center. The visual and performing arts continue to thrive in Lima at the many commercial art galleries, cultural institutions and museums. Peru has a splendid and valuable cultural heritage. Museums throughout the country hold large and diverse Pre-Columbian, Colonial and Republican collections. Aside from the treasures of Cusco and Machu Picchu, the Sipan Museum (Chiclayo), the Santa Catalina Convent (Arequipa), and archaeological sites such as the Huaca de la Luna (Trujillo) offer a taste of the richness of Peru's cultural history.

The Mission organizes and sponsors numerous activities to promote the protection of Peru's cultural patrimony. These include workshops and equipment for improving museum design and preservation of collections, as well as digital video conferences on illegal trafficking of cultural property.

During the last three decades painters such as Gerardo Chavez, Alberto Quintanilla, José Carlos Ramos and Ramiro Llona have gained international stature along with Peru's renowned painter Fernando de Szyszlo and sculptor Victor Delfín. A younger generation of promising artists has also sprung up now that Peru's economy provides more opportunity to promote the arts. Several young contemporary artists, such as Carlos Runcie Tanaka, Miguel Aguirre, and Moico Yaker, are experimenting with different and innovative techniques to create new artistic works that are recognized internationally. The Embassy supports and hosts exhibitions of photography and art work in conjunction with U.S. galleries, museums and universities. The U.S. Employee Association sponsors an annual exhibition and sale of contemporary Peruvian art to benefit poor and disabled children in the community.

Musical offerings, including opera, are also available in Lima. Internationally known soloists, ensembles, and conductors perform with either the National Symphony Orchestra or under the sponsorship of the Philarmonic of Lima. Top foreign singers, folk dancers, and ballet groups perform in Lima every year, and quality chamber groups present concerts during the May-December season. U.S. artists perform under Embassy auspices at Peru's Binational Centers (BNC's) in Lima or in provincial cities. Peruvian theater, as well, has a long and colorful history. Today many active professional and amateur groups perform regularly, with several specializing in modern theater.

The Embassy supports local arts events by bringing American artists to Peru. The Jazz Festival and Jazz Ambassadors are regular Mission activities, with presentations not only in Lima, but also in other cities. In collaboration with Catholic University's annual film festival, the Mission sponsors the visit of important filmmakers, such as representatives of the Sundance Festival, who make contacts with Peruvian producers and film directors. In conjunction with the Lima Binational Center's International Contemporary Dance Festival, the Embassy supports the visits of dancers and choreographers, such as Bill Young, Steven Petronio, and Dana Tai Soon Burgess.

Peru is well known for its writers and poets. Among these, Mario Vargas Llosa is one of the world's most renowned contemporary novelists. His novels and essays are read worldwide and have been translated into many languages. His best-sellers include Green House, Conversation in the Cathedral, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, and The War at the End of the World. His most recent is The Feast of the Goat, a vivid recreation of the Dominican Republic during the final days of General Rafael Trujillo's regime. Other contemporary poets and writers include Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Alfredo Bryce Echenique, Antonio Cisneros and Blanca Alva.

Spanish and English classes, a variety of cultural presentations, and modest bilingual libraries are available to Americans and Peruvians at the Lima Binational Centers (Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano-ICPNA). With locations in Lima, Miraflores, San Miguel and La Molina, more than 30,000 Peruvians study English at the ICPNA. Other Binational Centers supported by the Mission are located in Arequipa, Chiclayo, Cuzco, Huancayo, Piura, and Trujillo. Americans are encouraged to request the monthly cultural bulletin of the Lima ICPNA and to visit the provincial centers, where they are assured of a cordial welcome.

The Embassy also works closely with universities throughout Peru to provide training and resources, as well as information about studies in the U.S. The well-established Fulbright Commission organizes the competition for scholarships to study in the U.S. and hosts U.S. Fulbright students and scholars who come to work in Peru. In addition the Mission manages several key projects to strengthen civic education in Peruvian secondary schools, for emerging young leaders through English teaching.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:27 PM

Peru is a developing country blessed with extensive natural resources that enhance its possibilities for development. Rich mineral deposits in the Andes, abundant timber resources in the Amazon region, and a bountiful supply of fish along the country's long coastline form a solid base of natural wealth. The arable lands along the coast offer the potential for considerable growth in agriculture, given sufficient investment in irrigation and other agricultural technologies. Also, Peru's natural beauty, combined with extensive pre-Columbian ruins from the Inca and other civilizations, underlie the country's tremendous tourism potential.

Peru's economy has performed dynamically over the last two years, with GDP growth of 4.8% in 2002 and 4.0% in 2003. GDP currently is $61 billion, in a country of 27.1 million. During the 1990s, Peru was transformed by market-oriented reforms and privatizations, and met many conditions for long-term growth. Banking, retail services, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and textiles are key sectors. Peruvian inflation was 2.5% in 2003, with a stable currency and 9.4% unemployment, and the fiscal deficit was 1.8% of GDP, under the IMF target. Foreign reserves grew to $10.7 billion by February 2004. External debt equals 48.1% of GDP. Growth was 3.1% in 2000, but the collapse of the Fujimori government and ensuing political instability deterred investment, and GDP was flat in 2001.

Peruvian exports reached $8.95 billion in 2003, with imports of $8.24 billion, producing a $710 million trade surplus. Export growth of 17.1 percent was propelled by high mineral prices and U.S. Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) benefits. Peru's major trading partners are the U.S., EU, Japan, Colombia, Brazil, China and Venezuela. Over 27% of Peruvian exports are destined for the U.S. and 30% of Peruvian imports come from the U.S. Exports include, copper, zinc, gold, petroleum, coffee, textiles and apparel and fishmeal. Imports include machinery, vehicles, processed food, petroleum and steel. Peru belongs to APEC and the WTO, actively participates in FTAA negotiations and hopes to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S. in 2004. Peru's registered stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) is over $12 billion, with the U.S., Spain and Britain the leading investors. FDI is concentrated in privatized sectors such as mining, electricity, telecom and finance.

Growth in 2004 should continue to be driven by construction, investment (particularly in the Camisea natural gas project), domestic demand and exports. Peru's economy is fairly well-managed, and better tax collection and growth are hiking revenues, with expenditures keeping pace. Nevertheless, major challenges remain. The GOP faces strong social pressures to reduce poverty of 54% (under $58/month) and extreme poverty of 24% (under $32/month). Unemployment has risen to 10.1 percent, underemployment is around 45%, and growth is insufficient to generate strong new employment. The government lacks revenues for adequate social investment. Boosting long-term growth and reducing poverty will require strengthening the judiciary and other institutions, reducing corruption and completing other reforms to improve the investment climate.

Currently, the U.S. government advises the American business community that the best prospects for investment include mining, oil and gas, apparel, telecommunications, food processing, food packaging, construction and personal security equipment. In the services sector, consulting services (especially in the areas of finance and tourism) and licensing of franchises are also good prospects.


Automobiles Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:29 PM

Employees should bring a personal vehicle to Peru or buy one here. Personal cars are desirable in Peru for shopping, visiting, weekend excursions, etc. Parking is tight but adequate at the Embassy. Some employees choose to commute to work in car pools. Currently, there is home-to-office shuttle transportation for employees who live in some specific areas of the city. Regulations require a fee for this service. During local rush hours, which coincide with Mission working hours, local buses are extremely crowded and pickpocketing is common. U.S. Government employees are discouraged from using them.

General traffic and driving practices differ greatly from those in the U.S. Traffic signs are widely disregarded. Improper signaling, failure to signal, and excessive speeding are frequent. Traffic signals frequently fail, compounding congestion and confusion. Lima's traffic can be nerve-racking at first, but most people soon adjust to the improvised driving patterns. Traffic in Peru moves on the right as in the U.S. License plates can be obtained through the General Services Office (GSO). Personnel must pay about US $ 10 for the cost of plates and registration. The Peruvian Foreign Office requires a letter issued by a local insurance company certifying that you have obtained "Third-Party liability" and "Obligatory Insurance for Traffic Accidents"(SOAT) insurance policies before issuing license plates and registration. The Mission requires all American employees to purchase the above mentioned insurance on their cars (to cover other vehicles in an accident ) from a Peruvian company. Opinions vary on collision and theft insurance. Such insurance can be purchased through several American brokers, however, some employees prefer to purchase collision and theft insurance in Peru from a Peruvian company. While either option is expensive, in the event of an accident, purchasing the entire insurance package from a local company may strengthen the interest of the company in working toward prompt settlements.

Unleaded gasoline is available at 90, 95 and 97 octane. The latter grades are most commonly used by those with American cars but do not give the same performance as U.S. high test. The cost of a gallon of gasoline is between 9 and 11.50 New Soles.

Peru currently allows U.S. employees to import cars of any make into Peru and to sell them duty free after three years or at the end of their tours, as long as the engine size falls under a certain limit. Restrictions limit most Mission members between 1.8 and 2.5 liter engines size. Check with GSO/C&S Unit for the exact engine-size limitations for your grade. Routine maintenance is available for most makes of cars, but theft or parts substitution is common. Current Mission policy is to dissuade importation of large, flashy, and luxury models of privately owned vehicles for security reasons. Newly assigned employees must obtain advance approval from the Management Counselor before shipping such models. While the Ambassador may import two duty-free cars into Peru, all other personnel are limited to one.

Automobiles shipped to Peru require the commercial invoice, certificate of title and gas emission certificate. The sum of the three documents must contain the following information about the vehicle: make, model, year, type of vehicle, vehicle identification number, engine number, number of cylinders, capacity of engine in liters or cubic centimeters, and cost of the vehicle in U.S. dollars. If part of this information is missing in the documents, the customs clearance process will not be initiated until the information is completed by the owner. It is imperative that the engine number of the vehicle be mentioned in the vehicle documents. Also, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transportation will require the engine number when the license plates are requested. For Government of Peru authorities, the engine and serial number of vehicles are different. If the two numbers are the same, certification from a proper dealer is required.

Schedule arrival of the vehicle to occur after you are in country. Cars must be consigned in the employee's name. Automobiles are not boxed for shipment to Lima, so remove such pilferable items as windshield wipers, floor mats, radios, etc., before shipping. It is a good idea to have a locking gas cap.
Department of State regulations effective since June of 1988, forbid U.S. Government employees or family members to profit from the sale of personal property imported into or purchased within the country of assignment. If the imported or purchased personal property was exempted from import restrictions, custom duties, or taxes, sale cannot be made without prior approval to persons not entitled to such exemptions. For purposes of implementing this regulation, items of minimal value (currently defined as less than $200) are excluded from the definition of personal property. Please bear this in mind when shipping personal property to post.

Local Transportation Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:32 PM

Taxis, buses and smaller micro-buses abound. Buses are crowded but inexpensive. Regular taxi service is available at reasonable prices but the condition of most taxis is poor. Passengers should agree upon a price before entering vehicle. Telephone dispatched taxi service is also available at higher rates.

Regional Transportation Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:32 PM

Lima, an important air hub of South America, has a large, fairly modern airport, served by American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Continental Airlines. Other International airlines serving Lima include Lan-Chile, Avianca (Colombia), Varig (Brazil), Iberia (Spain), LAB (Bolivia) and others.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:33 PM

Long-distance telephone and telegraph services to and from the U.S. and other countries are good and getting better. All services are routed via satellite. AT&T, Globalphone, MCI and Sprint direct dialing to the U.S. is available through the International Voice Gateway (IVG)). It is possible to dial direct to almost any country in the world through the TELMEX (former AT&T) telephone company.

Internet Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:40 PM

Several local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer standard dial-up services for those bringing personal computers to post, and 28.8 kbps to 54 kbps modem speeds are available depending on the telephone lines servicing the area where the user resides. ISPs provide communications and browser software for most standard operating systems. ISP subscription fees vary but closely parallel those in the U.S. ranging from $10.50 to $35 per month. Red Cientifica Peruana (RCP), the longest established and perhaps the best known ISP offering full, 24-hour dial-up service, charges $19 per month with a three-month-in-advance requirement. Their bills are payable at the bank branch located in the Embassy. America On Line (AOL) and other U.S. Internet services are available, but users must pay a per-minute charge for connect time via long distance telephone lines.

Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:34 PM

Lima Peru's Army Post Office (APO) provides full APO service to all active duty military personnel, Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees, and DOD contractors attached to the U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru. It also provides full APO service to Foreign Service Officers and Civil Service employees of other U.S. Government Agencies such as the Department of State (DOS), USAID, NGA, DEA, DOTS, DHS, FAS, FCS and Peace Corps. Full APO service is also provided to the dependents of those listed above. APO service for retired military personnel is limited to receiving or sending mail weighing no more than 16 ounces. IAW DOD regulation No. 4525.6-M, U.S. government contractors other that DOD contractors are not authorized to use APO services.

The APO receives mail via U.S. flagged airlines two or three times a week. The APO offers first class, priority, fourth class, insured and certified mailing. Registered mail, money orders, and express mail are not available.
Parcels may weigh no more than 70 lbs. and may not have a combined length and girth of more than 108 inches for priority mail, and 130 inches for standard mail. U.S. postage stamps may be purchased through the APO. U.S. dollars and personal checks drawn on U.S. banks are the only means allowed to pay for stamps and other APO services. The APO will not accept personal checks written for less than $3.70.

Address APO mail as follows:
Full Name
American Embassy-Office Abbreviation (POL, DAO, etc)
Unit No. _________
APO AA 34031
International mail (commercial couriers) is considered unreliable, expensive and much slower than mail sent via the APO.

Radio and TV Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:39 PM

Lima has 37 AM and 29 FM radio stations that provide news and popular Latin American, classical, contemporary, European, American, and Peruvian music. World news coverage in Spanish is adequate, and reception is good. Peru's leading news radio station is Radio Programas del Peru (RPP): BO 730 AM and 89.7 FM. VOA short-wave reception is good, and VOA Spanish programs are regularly rebroadcast on CPN Radio (90.5 AM) in Lima, and on other stations in provinces.

Seven TV stations operate in Lima. Six of them, Channels 2, 4, 5, 9, 11 and 13, transmit 24 hours daily, while Channel 7 starts at 6 a.m. and broadcasts until 2 a.m. All broadcasts are in color and use the standard American television (NTSC) system. Most programs are the same as in the U.S. -soap operas, Westerns, audience participation, domestic comedies, old movies, and dubbed U.S. shows. All are commercial with 8 to 22 minutes of advertising an hour. Two Peruvian companies provide cable TV service to metropolitan Lima. The monthly fee is approximately $35 for about 50 channels including some from Europe, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and the U.S. (ESPN, TNT, FOX, and HBO are not the U.S. premium channels). Before purchasing a parabolic antenna, check with post.

Peruvian telecommunications laws aim at improving the content of Peruvian TV to make it more of an educational and cultural medium, but progress is spotty. American TV's with a transformer to convert 220v current to 110v will receive local programs. However, cables, rabbit ears or access to an external antenna is required. Bring radio, TV equipment, VCRs, DVDs, and TV cassettes and disks from the U.S. as they are slightly more expensive here.

Ham radio operators who hold a valid U.S. license are entitled to operate in Lima. Licenses also can be obtained locally. Prior notice and payment of a small fee must be given to the Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones, Direccion General de Telecomunicaciones.

In the past few years, DVDs have become very popular. Many places rent English-language films, both current and classic, as well as U.S. TV shows. Tapes, the majority of these at moderate prices, are often pirated so the quality is poor. However, a U.S. video chain (Blockbuster Video) has several stores.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:35 PM

Lima has a competitive press with 25 daily newspapers. The most influential is the 164 year-old paper of record, conservative El Comercio. Well-informed readers often also consult center-right Correo, Peru.21 and Expreso, and center-left La Republica.

Gestion tries to be Peru's version of The Wall Street Journal. El Peruano, the government gazette, is the only medium that publishes the text of official communications. Other dailies are more or less sensationalistic and colorful.

One political magazine is published in Lima, influential, centrist Caretas. Two respected think-tank publications, rightist economic weekly Semana Economica and moderate leftist political monthly Ideele, are published in both hard copy and electronically, along with a wide range of specialized periodicals on economics and other fields.

The country's difficulties have affected the media. Although press, TV and radio commercials have increased, overall advertising revenues have decreased. Serious newspapers are relatively expensive -newsstands sell copies at 14 cents to 57 cents daily and 14 cents to $1.00 on Sundays with home delivery costing more. The official daily El Peruano costs a hefty 57 cents. Caretas has become quite expensive (at about $3.45).

Delivery of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the International Herald Tribune may be ordered by mail -the lag via APO is usually about 5 days. Newsstands sell Time, Newsweek, and a few other popular American magazines. Prices are higher than those in the U.S. Some bookstores, mostly in Miraflores and San Isidro, sell English-language books. The Human Resources Office keeps the Embassy community up-to-date by circulating The Humboldt Current weekly by e-mail.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:41 PM

The Mission operates a Health Unit in the Embassy building. Services are available for all eligible U.S. Mission employees and dependents. The Health Unit is staffed by a Department of State Regional Medical Officer (RMO) who provides primary care services. These services include, but are not limited to diagnosis and treatment of common acute problems and management of chronic illnesses; health teaching; administration of immunizations; and referrals to the local medical community. Three registered nurses (RN) and a part-time Peruvian internist also provide health care services. A Regional psychiatrist (RMO/P) is also based in Lima and provides consultations when available.

The Health Unit keeps a small supply of prescription medications most frequently prescribed. They are dispensed for acute medical problems treated at the Health Unit. Individuals who require daily medications should bring an adequate supply with them. Do not pack these items in either your airfreight or household effects (HHE) as such items may be delayed in customs. The Health Unit has several systems in place to facilitate a supply of prescription medications. Some over-the-counter (OTC) medications (e.g., aspirin, Pepto-Bismol, cold tablets, vitamins, cough syrup, etc.) are available in the commissary. You may want to bring a supply of OTC medications (especially if you prefer any particular products) and a first-aid kit.
Lima has several good private hospitals called "clinicas." These clinics lack some of the "high-tech" equipment found in the U.S. but are more than adequate for emergency situations and stabilizing patients. The physicians are trained in Peru, Europe, and in the U.S. Many are U.S. board certified.
The Health Unit maintains a list of hospitals that are considered advisable for Mission use. Individuals should have planned elective surgery done in the U.S. If medical services are unavailable in Lima, patients are evacuated to the nearest adequate medical facility, usually Miami, with authorization from M/MED upon Regional Medical Officer's recommendation. The Health Unit also maintains a referral list (by credentials) for specialists in various areas. Outpatient medical care expenses are the responsibility of the individual; in general U.S. health insurance is not accepted and payment is expected at the time of the visit (expenses generally are reimbursable as allowed through your specific insurance plan.) Dental care including orthodontics is available by both U.S. and Peruvian-trained dentists. All family members should have a general dental examination prior to arrival.

Community Health Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:42 PM

Lima has a high incidence of hepatitis A, measles, typhoid, diarrheal disease and tuberculosis. Poverty, overcrowding, and malnutrition are common. Malaria, yellow fever, dengue and rabies are common in the jungle.

Mission families are generally healthy. They experience the same illnesses as in the U.S. in addition to gastrointestinal infections, usually from contaminated food or water. Winter (May through November) is cool and humid. The cool, sunless weather increases the number of colds, bronchitis, asthma, and allergy-related complaints. Due to many factors, e.g., terrorism, high crime, need for increased residential security and periodic water shortages, and during the long, sunless, gray winter, many individuals express stress-related symptoms and occasional depression.

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:43 PM

The following are suggestions for staying healthy in Peru.

* Arrange a visit to the Health Unit for a detailed orientation, a review of current immunizations, and to obtain a copy of the health manual. The health manual has considerable useful information for newcomers.
* Use bottled water, as tapwater is not potable. Commercially prepared soft drinks and beer are considered safe.
* Vegetables and fruit require disinfection with a chlorine solution before eating. Avoid salads and raw vegetables and fruits in restaurants. Do not buy from "ambulantes" (street vendors).
* It is recommended that you start the Hepatitis A, and the Hepatitis B series, before coming to post. Yellow fever immunization is required for jungle travel and for travel into some other countries (such as Brazil) from Peru. Have this vaccine before you come to Peru. The following immunizations should be kept current: typhoid; diphtheria; tetanus; polio; measles, mumps, and rubella; and HIB.
* Individuals who will be working in the jungles and/or traveling or living in outlying areas should take the preexposure rabies and Hepatitis B vaccines prior to arrival.
* Handcarry your immunizations record as you would your passport. Do not pack your yellow International Immunization Card in the airfreight or HHE.
* Bottled drinking water is not adequately fluorinated. The Health Unit provides fluoride for children over six months of age.
* Automobile accidents commonly occur. Use of seat belts and child-restraint systems are required.
* Before traveling outside Lima check with the Health Unit for malaria precautions. The malaria prophylaxis medication recommended is Mefloquine or Doxycycline. Discuss which medication would be best for you with Health Unit personnel.
* Notify the Health Unit in the case of hospitalization or need for blood or blood products. Since AIDS and other infectious diseases are present in Peru, the Health Unit has a walking bloodbank system. Copies of the blood list are kept at the Health Unit and in the homes of Embassy health care providers. Individuals are advised that in the event of an emergency they might be contacted. If the blood donor questionnaire yields no positive answers, you will be asked to donate blood after an HIV test. Know your blood type before coming to post.
* Contract employees should review their contract regarding policies for emergency medical evacuation to the U.S. and Health Unit access. Individuals not covered by the Department of State Medical Program should carry supplemental travelers insurance for emergency medical flights to the U.S. Although not accepted in Peruvian hospitals, you should continue your U.S. hospitalization and insurance plan for coverage during home leave, temporary duty, or R & R in the U.S. Dependent parents are not covered by the State Department Medical Pro-gram and therefore have no authorized access to the Health Unit.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 4/22/2004 1:43 PM

Several employment opportunities exist in the U.S. Mission for spouses and adult family members. The post also has an active program for teenagers during Peruvian summer holidays, December-February and also June-September, appropriate for teens attending U.S. colleges.

Positions most often available are for secretaries who are given temporary FMA. Qualification requirements include standard secretarial skills such as typing and use of normal office word processing equipment and software. Fluency in Spanish, while not mandatory, is preferred for many positions. If necessary, tests for these positions are available in the post's Personnel Office. Occasionally, there are Professional Associate Positions available in the Consular Section. Dependents interested in employment at the U.S. Mission should bring a complete record of previous employment, particularly of Federal Service. Correspond with the Embassy Human Resources officer before coming to post. A medical examination is not required for temporary appointments, but security clearances are.

Post family members have found positions of a more technical nature at USAID. Family members interested in work should check with the Overseas Briefing Center at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), their individual agencies, and Mission Family Liaison Office to see what preparatory courses are available before departure.

Local employment opportunities are limited. Local wages are much lower than in the U.S., and fluency in both Spanish and English may be required. Some family members, with proper qualifications, have taught or substituted at Colegio Franklin D. Roosevelt, the American School in Lima, which most children of U.S. Mission personnel attend.

Since February 1988, all adult family members of U.S. employees assigned to this Mission are allowed to be employed on the local economy in Peru. They must seek permission for specific employment from the Peruvian Foreign Ministry through the U.S. Embassy. Those employed on the local economy are subject to local social security and income taxes. For more information on this subject, contact the Human Resources Office at post.

American Embassy - Lima

Post City Last Updated: 12/31/1999 6:00 PM

Lima lies in the center of Peru’s coastal desert area on the Rimac River, 8 miles from the Pacific Port of Callao and about 475 feet above sea level. Its coordinates are 12 degrees south latitude and 77 degrees west longitude, the same longitude as New York City, 3,500 miles north. The Pan American Highway links Lima with Ecuador (600 miles north) and with Chile (720 miles south).

Although only 12 degrees south of the Equator, Lima is not tropical. The Pacific Ocean’s cool Humboldt Current moderates the Peruvian coastal climate. Two distinct seasons occur: summer and winter. Winter is cool and damp with overcast skies; summer is moderate and generally pleasant. Rain is practically nonexistent in the area, though light mist and drizzle persist throughout the winter.

Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, and named the “City of Kings,” probably because the site was discovered on Epiphany. The seat of the viceroy was established here in 1542 with jurisdiction over all Spanish territory in South America except Venezuela.

The City of Kings has changed in the past 25 years from a quiet city of Spanish colonial charm into a modern-day metropolis. Although many colonial landmarks still stand, new office buildings and hotels tower over the dignified mansions and churches of the 17th and 18th centuries. Greater Lima with its suburbs covers roughly 400 square miles and has a population of more than 7 million, making it the fourth largest city in South America. By day the city teems with business and traffic; at night it assumes a typical Latin American cosmopolitan appearance, offering excellent restaurants, nightclubs, discotheques, concert halls, and movie theaters.

The area is rich in centuries-old plazas and churches. Inca and pre-Inca ruins are nearby, and artisan objects of silver, leather, and alpaca wool are available. Many modern entertainment and sports facilities are also available.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 4/22/2004 2:57 PM

The U.S. has maintained diplomatic relations with Peru since 1826. Since 1920 these relations have been at the Ambassadorial level. The Embassy in Lima, organized along traditional lines, is the center of all U.S. diplomatic and consular operations. A consular agent serves the Department of Cuzco in southern Peru.
Besides the Department of State, several government agencies have offices in the Embassy building located on the 17th block of Avenida Encalada, in the suburb of Monterrico - Santiago de Surco. The imposing grey, blue, black and white-tiled structure was completed in June 1995, and inaugurated on July 4, 1995. The move to the new Embassy building consolidated the Embassy's services and operations by uniting offices previously operating in three different locations. Except for National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NGA), and Naval Medical Research Center Detachment (NMRCD), all main government agencies now operate out of the new Chancery.
The Embassy building is situated on a gently sloping site that was formerly used as practice fields by the Association Lima Polo Club in Monterrico. The 80,000 square meter compound accommodates the five-story Chancery building, a new annex building which houses the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and several ancillary buildings, including a primary power plant, a shipping and receiving building, and three controlled entrances. The U.S. Government instructed the designers to respect the green, garden-like character of the neighborhood, so flowers, shrubs, and lawns were carefully integrated into the design. As a result, a park-like environment and open green spaces surround the building.
The new building is a skillful combination of pre-Columbian architectural motifs with high-tech detailing that has created a harmonious amalgamation of contrasts, depicting the richness of the past, and showcasing modern-day technology. Natural and man-made materials, with muted colors and reflective surfaces, are displayed in the facade of the building. A large rusticated black rock-like base structure completes the design.
The Consular section is located on the first floor of the Chancery. The American Citizen Services Unit, which handles U.S. passports, registration, reports of birth and various other federal benefits programs, is open to the public from 8:00 to 12:00 Monday-Friday, except on U.S. and certain Peruvian holidays. Special hours for Mission employees only are on Wednesday afternoons, from 2:00 to 4:00. The ACS waiting room is located off the main lobby. Visa services, both immigrant and nonimmigrant, are available by appointment only, except in the case of serious emergencies. Nonimmigrant visa appointments are available by calling the Embassy's information and appointment service, Atento, at 595-1000. Referral and protocol cases are handled at the window in the ACS waiting room every workday from 8:00 to 10:00.
The Defense Attache's Office (DAO), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the separately appropriated State Department Narcotics Affairs Section (NAS), the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS), the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)), comprise the other government agencies at the new Embassy building.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), an agency of the United States Department of Justice, maintains a staff of Special Agents and Intelligence Research Specialists within the Embassy. These personnel, along with technical and administrative staff, manage a broad-based number of counternarcotic programs and initiatives, principally with the Peruvian National Police (PNP), aimed at curtailing the flow of illegal narcotics to the United States. These programs are implemented throughout Peru and are conducted in concert with an overall U.S. Peruvian strategy employed by the Lima Country Team.
Several government agencies involved in counternarcotics activities maintain a presence in the cities Pucallpa and Iquitos, east of the Andes. In Pucallpa, the NAS manages several facilities, including offices, aircraft hangars and barracks for temporary duty staff.
NGA has offices located on Avenida Aramburú near San Isidro. The NMRCD is located at the Centro Médico Naval on Ave. Venezuela in Callao.
The main telephone number for the Embassy is 434-3000 and connects to all the Mission offices housed in the chancery.
Embassy office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; NMRCD is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and NGA is from 8:00 to 4:00 p.m.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 4/22/2004 2:58 PM

It is the policy of Embassy Lima to assign new personnel to permanent quarters in advance of arrival at post in a manner consistent with good management practices and in the best interests of the U.S. Government. To the extent feasible, employees' stated housing preferences will be taken into consideration when assignments are made. It is also the Embassy's policy to provide quarters in good and safe condition and to assure that all quarters are properly and adequately maintained.

Occasionally, newly arrived State employees are temporarily housed in Government-owned houses until their residence is ready for occupancy. Other agencies make accommodations in hotels.

Permanent Housing Last Updated: 4/22/2004 2:59 PM

The Embassy will provide each member of its staff with the best housing available at the time of arrival. We will ensure that the residence assigned is suitable and appropriate to the official and personal requirements of the employee and his/her family according to the regulations and standards described in 6 FAM 720.

The U.S. Government owns a fully furnished, two-story, seven-bedroom, Spanish-baroque residence for the Ambassador. The grounds cover a triangular city block.

The DCR is a four-bedroom Colonial house located in the San Isidro area.

U.S. Embassy Lima maintains an inventory of government-owned residences and residences on short-term leases. Assignments are made by the Inter-Agency Housing Board (IAHB) from this pool of housing and are based on consideration of space standards applicable to the employee's position grade and family size. As per 6 FAM 724, space eligibility depends on a combination of family size and position rank (not personal grade). Sixty percent of our personnel are housed in residences while 40 percent are in apartments.

USAID has the authority to manage its own leased housing portfolio. The USAID housing pool falls under the same US government rules, regulations and procedures as other agencies.
The Regional Security Office must survey each residence, and its recommendations must be implemented before quarters can be occupied.

Furnishings Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:01 PM

The residences for the Ambassador, DCM are fully furnished by Interior Furnishings (IF). The Marine Security Guards' residence is furnished by the Marine Corps.

Currently, Lima is designated a furnished post. State Department direct hire employees will be provided with a basic set of furniture for the living room, dining room, master bedroom and for other occupied bedrooms. Each residence includes window coverings.

All employee residences are provided with major appliances: a washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, freezer, dehumidifier, space heaters, ceiling fans, and A/C units. The A/C units will be installed in the main living room and in all fully occupied bedrooms. A limited shipment of personal effects is authorized for employees who are entitled to U.S. Government-leased and-furnished quarters.

Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:03 PM

All residences have water cisterns and pumps. The Embassy provides every residence with two dehumidifiers and a space heater for every fully occupied bedroom.

Electricity in Lima is 220 volts, 60 cycles, very different from that in the United States. The electric current here is also not as consistent as in the U.S., which results in rapid burnout of light bulbs and irregularities in the functioning of personal appliances. For items that are susceptible to damage from power surges, such as computers and other electronic items, it is recommended that surge protectors be used. Transformers are needed in Lima for appliances used in the United States. Transformers can be purchased and shipped with HHE or purchased in Lima at numerous hardware stores, including Radio Shack and Ace Hardware. Post encourages incoming employees to buy small appliances (blender, microwave, mixer, iron, etc.) that are 220 volts. Many stores in Lima have small appliances at reasonable prices. Transformers can become a fire hazard when overloaded.

Welcome Kits:
Welcome Kits are supplied to each housing unit occupied by State employees and to those agencies that have signed up for non-expendable supplies under ICASS. The kits include bed linen, blankets, towels, cutlery, kitchen and cooking utensils, irons and ironing boards. Welcome Kits are provided to both incoming and outgoing employees, for temporary use pending arrival of shipments or immediately prior to departure.

Food Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:04 PM

The American Employees' Community Association (AECA) operates a 2,000-item grocery store that carries U.S. products. Stocked items include canned goods, paper products, toiletries, baking products, cereals, frozen foods, pet foods, sodas, beer, liquor, wines, cigarettes, and American gift items. The commissary can special order items for individuals.

Freight expenses from the U.S. to Callao increase the prices, but they are competitive in quality and price with local items.

Refundable commissary membership fees are $300 per family and $150 for singles. Temporary Duty Personnel pay a nominal daily fee. The commissary is located on the Embassy grounds. Commissary hours are as follows: Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

American-style supermarkets are abundant in most residential areas. Markets offer a variety of locally produced and processed goods. Many small specialty shops can be found throughout greater Lima, but imported foodstuffs are expensive.

Delicious, fresh, domestic and imported fruits and vegetables, both tropical and temperate, are sold in Lima year round. Bananas, melons, oranges, and such tropical fruits as papayas, mangos, and maracuya (passion fruit) are of good quality and reasonably priced. Apples, plums, peaches, strawberries, watermelon, pears, etc. are also available in season. Small limes are used for drinks and in cooking. Fresh fruit juices, including strawberry and melon, are popular. Many fresh herbs and spices are sold in the supermarkets.

Fish, fresh meat and chicken are generally available. Beef, pork, and some cuts of lamb are good, but quality varies. Pork should be cooked thoroughly.

Fresh, pasteurized milk is available at some local supermarkets (La Molina brand is preferred but sometimes difficult to find). Many Americans buy boxed, long-life milk, and powdered or canned milk is available. Local and imported cheeses are plentiful and varied; there is no lack of good cheeses in Lima. Ice cream is inexpensive and is of good quality.

Mission personnel usually buy alcoholic beverages from the commissary. Seven brands of beer are brewed in Peru and good Chilean wines are available locally. World-famous "pisco" brandy (distilled from grapes) is widely served and "pisco sours" are traditionally offered as a gesture of hospitality. Locally bottled soft drinks include Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, Canada Dry, Ginger Ale, Seven-Up, and tonic. The bright yellow Inka Cola is a favorite Peruvian soft drink.

Peruvian cuisine excites the palate and is imaginative and varied, with many dishes based on fresh fish and seafood. Corn, potatoes, and chicken, are combined with fresh spices such as basil and coriander (Chinese parsley) to make delicious soups. Rich desserts are popular. Restaurants are good, but slightly more expensive than Washington D.C. for similar quality food.

Clothing Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:04 PM

All items of apparel are sold locally but imported items are expensive. The style and fit of locally produced apparel are different, so bring a good supply of clothing or, if you are familiar with dressmaking, yard goods, because local tailoring and dressmaking services are good. Excellent fabrics may be purchased here. Peru is famous for export of a high-quality cotton.

Attractive, good-quality shoes are available, but expensive, and large, half-size, and narrow sizes are hard to find. Some people choose to bring a sufficient supply of shoes and maintain an outlet in the U.S. for reordering. If you have doubts about bringing an item, and it is a mailable size/weight, wait until after arrival to decide whether it is needed and, if so, order it through the mail.

Men Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:04 PM

Most Peruvian men dress conservatively, wearing shirts and ties to both office and social gatherings. Tuxedos are generally not worn at formal affairs. In summer, sport shirts and slacks are acceptable for day and eveningwear.

Women Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:05 PM

Women will find woolen and other medium weight warm dresses or suits practical for office or social wear during winter. Long dresses or long skirts and tops are occasionally worn at evening social functions. Evening jackets and wraps are necessary in winter and frequently lightweight shawls are needed in summer. Shorts are rarely seen in public in the city, but are common at clubs, picnics, and at home.

Dress slacks are generally acceptable, depending upon style and fabric, and are suitable for coffees, luncheons, teas, meetings, and cocktail parties. Street-length dresses or separates are worn more frequently.

Children Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:05 PM

Colegio Roosevelt students wear navy blue pants/skirts and white and/or powder blue shirts/blouses and white knit tops. All uniform items must be purchased in school. Elementary school uniforms include a warm-up suit for gym, which must also be purchased locally. Students through grade five have the option of wearing it in place of the regular school uniform. Black athletic shoes are acceptable to uniform standards and could be purchased in the U.S. Medium-quality oxfords are available locally. Kindergarten and preschool children must also wear uniforms. For gym, children will need a warm-up suit that should be purchased in Lima. They will also need white tennis shoes and socks and in the summer will wear white shorts and light shirts for gym. During March all students must wear a "summer uniform" because of the warm weather.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:06 PM

American and European brands of toilet articles and cosmetics are expensive here: domestic brands are more reasonably priced and some are satisfactory. The commissary stocks some toiletries. However, it is advised to ship/bring a supply of preferred brands.

Many families bring small supplies of household medicines and other needed articles. Pharmacies are well stocked with antibiotics, vitamins, and U.S. patented medicines at controlled prices comparable to those in the U.S.

Bring or ship the following items: nondrip candles, plastic or wooden coathangers (metal ones can rust), plastic kitchen equipment such as dish drainer and wastebaskets, household tools, Christmas decorations, etc. Bring an artificial Christmas tree if you wish, or plan to buy one in Peru, since Norfolk pines are the only locally available "Christmas" trees.
Families with small children should bring small gifts suitable for birthday presents. Such gifts are usually expensive and birthday parties are numerous, as are baby and bridal showers. Ship children's strollers, playpens, and cycles; they are available locally but are expensive.
Photography enthusiasts could bring a supply of film, but remember that it deteriorates if stored in a humid climate for long. Most film types are sold locally and the commissary sells basic types.

Basic Services Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:06 PM

Tailoring, dressmaking, shoe repair, hairdressing, barbering, laundry, dry-cleaning, and other services are available at reasonable prices. Although materials and miscellaneous sewing items are available, bring patterns, polyester fabrics, pins, needles, polyester thread, etc., or arrange a U.S. source.

Domestic Help Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:07 PM

A maid's salary is currently about $150 to $200 per month. For full-time help, the employer also must pay a social security tax of about 18% of monthly salary. Both live-in maid and day maids are easy to find. Besides monthly pay, the employer must provide uniforms, food, and for daily domestics, transportation money. Live-in servants need a simple bed and chest of drawers, available locally at modest prices. Some employees and families have found that domestic help is essential because their presence helps improve home security and because air pollution and dust create constant cleaning problems.

Gardeners and ironing women, are available, as well as day workers, who can be hired to wash and wax floors, clean windows, and polish furniture (jobs maids generally do not do). Gardeners generally have their own lawnmowers. Good caterers are available for special entertaining at reasonable prices.

Peruvian law requires employers to give servants 15 days vacation when they complete a year of continuous service. Also, 15 days indemnity will be due domestic workers for each full year of service. More specific infor-mation is given at post. Employees are entitled to a bonus of 2 weeks pay in July and again at Christmas.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:08 PM

The Lima Cathedral, originally built in the 16th century, has been almost entirely reconstructed and is currently used primarily as a museum. Lima has many other Catholic churches, some of considerable historic and artistic interest. Masses in English are conducted at the Santa Maria Reina Chapel, Avenida Sta. Cruz and Conquistadores 1293, Ovalo Gutierrez, in Miraflores.

Three Protestant churches have Sunday services in English: the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd at Av. Santa Cruz 491, Miraflores. Sunday services include Holy Communion at 8:00 a.m. with Morning Service at 10:00 (Creche and Sunday school available). The International Union Church at Av. Angamos 1155, Miraflores offers interdenominational Worship Services in English on Sundays at 10:30 and Sunday school at 9:15 (adults) and 9:30 and 10:45 (children). The Union Church also offers Bible Studies on Fridays March to November. The New Life Bible Fellowship at El Lindero 345, La Molina offers an interdenominational English Worship Service on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Sunday school is at 9:00 am and there is a children's Sunday school as well. Several Jewish congregations offer services in Hebrew and Spanish, with many English-speaking members of the congregation, such as, Congregation 1870 located at Libertad 375, Miraflores that offers services at 7:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 am and 5:30 pm. Asociacion Judia de Beneficeacia Eculto de 1870 is located at Jose Galvez 282, Miraflores (445-1089), Central Social y Cultura Sharon at Dos de Mayo (440-0290) and Union Israelita del Peru can be contacted at 440-0290. Mormon services in English are also offered at the chapel located on Javier Prado Este 750 in La Molina. Lima has missionaries from many Protestant denominations, but their church services are usually in Spanish. The YMCA and YWCA are active in the Lima community.


Dependent Education Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:17 PM

Roosevelt School

School-age children usually attend the Colegio Franklin D. Roosevelt, an international school in Lima. Instruction is in English and programs are offered for preschool age children (3 and 4-year old), as well as kindergarten through grade 12. Colegio Roosevelt is accredited by the U.S. Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. This private, coeducational, non-denominational school, was established in 1946 to provide schooling for dependents of major U.S. companies in Peru. Its curriculum is primarily designed to prepare students for future enrollment in universities. The school has about 1,242 students (kindergarten through grade 12). About 70 children of Mission employees attend Roosevelt. The student population is made up of 22% U.S. citizens; 58% Peruvian and the remaining 20% of the students are third country nationals (April 2003 REO report).

The large campus is quite impressive. Separate buildings are used for the high school, middle school, elementary school, multipurpose media facility, and the gymnasium. Many faculty and administrative personnel are U.S. citizens. Average class size is 20-25 students. The post education allowance covers the school tuition cost and bus transportation, but not the $50 semi-annual activities fees. School begins the first week in August and continues until early July, with a 2-1/2 month holiday from mid-December through February. The school does not have a cafeteria. Children either carry their lunches or purchase snack food.

To enroll your children, write the Management Counselor and request that the school be notified. USAID employees should write their executive officer. Include the name, present grade, age, and sex of each child to be enrolled. The school will help complete the enrollment procedure. Preliminary testing of elementary-grade children is required to aid the school in grade/class placement. Guidance counselor interviews of secondary students assist in class scheduling. To assist administrators, the school recommends that copies of official transcripts, standardized tests, report cards, letters of recommendation and any additional information that would be helpful, be forwarded to FDR prior to your arrival to post. English, history, social studies, Spanish, science, math, and physical education are standard offerings in the high school as well as elective courses. International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and diploma as well as Advanced Placement (AP) are available. Additionally, Roosevelt offers a strong computer-education program. Extracurricular activities include sports (baseball, basketball, soccer, field hockey, tennis, softball and volleyball). Photography Club, Drama Club, National Honor Society, student government and Varsity Club. Gifted and talented children programs are offered. Students with diagnosed mild learning disabilities may be included in regular classes with support from a specialist. However, it should be noted that Colegio Roosevelt has limited resources for special needs students. Programs for students with learning difficulties or those in advanced curriculums do not compare with those offered in U.S. public school systems. It is imperative to contact the school prior to assignment to Lima to discuss whether or not the school can meet the educational needs of your child. All relevant information should be forwarded, along with academic and health records, before arrival to enable the school to better evaluate individual students. More detailed information regarding resources for special needs students at FDR can be obtained from the Overseas Briefing Center.

The school offers a short summer activities program. Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt can be contacted at: (phone) 51 1 435 0890, (fax) 51 1 436 0927 or (e-mail) Their web site address to be contacted is:

Employees should contact the Community Liaison Office (CLO) at (phone) 51 1 434 3000, ext. 2614, (fax) 51 1 436 0927 or by e-mail for additional information on Colegio Roosevelt. The CLO also has information on other schools in Lima such as the French and German schools and several bilingual schools with British/Peruvian curricula. Currently, there are 19 children of U.S. mission employees attending Newton College which is one of the British Peruvian schools here in Lima. Again, it is important to mention that this school also has very limited special needs education resources.

Newton College

Newton College is an Anglo-Peruvian, co-educational, bilingual school for students aged 2 to 18. It is built on a large, beautiful campus next to a lake in an attractive Lima suburb. In addition to the Upper School and Lower School buildings, there are multi-purpose rooms for Nursery, Kindergarten, Art, and Music, and a new cafeteria providing hot, nutritious meals based mostly on Peruvian cuisine. A sports complex is under construction and will include a swimming pool. The school has its own field study center in the Amazon jungle for students to carry out research projects.

One of the major objectives of the school is to develop bilingual students. Both English and Spanish are the languages of instruction. For those students not fluent in either, language support is provided to rapidly develop their fluency. French is offered as an elective to students from the age of 11. The curriculum is based on the International Baccalaureate Organization and the I.G.C.S.E. (Cambridge University). This curriculum is designed to prepare students for future enrollment in universities.

The school year runs from March to December and is divided into 4 terms, each one 9 weeks long. Admissions of new pupils mostly take place in March or August, but can also occur during term times. On completion of the entrance exams the pupil is placed in the corresponding year group. With regard to pupils entering in August from northern hemisphere schools, the College will decide whether to allow the pupil to forego or repeat half of the academic year. This will depend on the pupil's academic background and maturity.

Class size is normally 25 students per teacher. However, many subjects and activities class sizes are much smaller, thus providing for a more individual approach to teaching and monitoring.

Lower school implements the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. Each class has two principal teachers, one teaching the English taught part of the curriculum and the other, the Spanish taught part of the curriculum. In Upper School, English and Mathematics pupils study with others in classes of similar ability. In their last two years in Upper School all pupils follow the IB Diploma Program.

Extracurricular activities are offered after school and on Saturdays. Interhouse competitions (based on the four British royal houses) provide spirited competition in sports and the arts.

There is a limited special needs program for pupils with language and mild attention-deficit problems. The special needs unit is run by the educational psychologist department. For more intensive special needs the school coordinates with external therapists. Special provision is also made for pupils with some physical handicaps. It is imperative to contact the school directly with regard to the special needs of your child as resources are limited.

For more information refer to their website at When contacting the school directly or through the website, please specify that you are with the U.S. Embassy.

Mission families often send children ages 2 - 5 to half day pre-school programs which are available in most neighborhoods. The quality of education they provide is generally impressive. Many of these offer bilingual programs for the children. Embassy employees have personally visited many of the day care centers. The CLO maintains updated information on several of them.

Peru has a large number of national and private universities, including 14 in Lima. One semester courses like those given in U.S. colleges and universities generally are not offered here. Agriculture and engineering are taught at national universities in Lima. All courses are in Spanish and enrollment is restricted.
The University of San Marcos in Lima is the oldest in the Americas (founded May 13, 1551) and is the largest in Peru. Its faculties include humanities, law, medicine, sciences, economics, education, and veterinary medicine. However, it has been plagued with student disturbances and is currently undergoing an economic crisis.
The Catholic University is the largest private university in Lima. During July and August it sponsors a special program for U.S. students, as does the University of Lima, which has an excellent School of Communications. The University of the Pacific specializes in business education and other related programs.

Post Orientation Program

The Mission offers a semi-annual a comprehensive orientation program for all new arrivals and their adult family members to explain the programs of the various components of the Mission and to brief employees on life in Lima.

Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:17 PM

As financial resources permit, the State Department offers formal language-training courses for all eligible employees and dependents. Employees of other agencies should check with their agency to determine availability of training. Instruction is at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Classes use either the Programmatic Method or the 55-unit FSI basic Spanish textbook, in addition to other material such as articles and books. The Binational Centers offer a language program to teach Spanish to foreigners in Peru. In addition, English language classes are available. You may also arrange inexpensive private language tutoring.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:18 PM

Sports facilities, aside from various spectator sports, are limited to private clubs, gymnasiums or health studios. Lima has many popular, but expensive sporting clubs and several tennis, golf, swimming, and riding facilities. Some clubs have almost impossible admission requirements but others have memberships available that range from expensive to moderate. Restrictions may apply to women and ethnic groups. Clubs usually require initiation fees or shares (some of which can be sold on departure) plus monthly or quarterly dues. A few waive initiation fees or share-purchase for diplomatic-list employees. Several modern, well-equipped health studios and gymnasiums in the area provide exercise facilities, boxing, wrestling, weight lifting, etc. The Embassy Commissary Association maintains a small inexpensive workout room at the Embassy. In addition, there are two tennis courts, a basketball court, and several soccer courts, and a volleyball court on the Embassy grounds. An active softball league operates on weekends at Roosevelt School.

The American Association is a social/charitable membership organization for U.S. Citizens and Canadians living in Lima. Among its activities are group trips to outlying areas, a monthly restaurant night, and other social events. It sponsors a community picnic each year on Labor Day and a joint Canadian/US Independence Day Celebration on July.

The USEA, the United States Embassy Association, is an organization that works closely with the CLO office to plan events for U.S. personnel and their families. Their activities include: sponsoring a monthly potluck luncheon, welcoming newcomers through neighborhood committees organizing shopping trips and neighborhood walking tours, raising money for charitable organizations, and other similar activities.

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:18 PM

Almost every area and town in Peru has its own unique festivals and celebrations. These are mostly colorful religious events. Comfortable, clean tourist hotels operate in most frequently visited towns. Reservations for all in-country travel can be made through TRAVEX, which maintains offices in the Annex building, or through several local travel agencies. The South American Explorers' Club has an office in Lima with extensive files on trips within Peru. Membership costs $30 per year.

Nearby Pacific Ocean beaches offer swimming and surfing, but the undertow and currents are dangerous, and many nearby beaches are contaminated by raw sewage. About 20 to 30 miles south of Lima are clean, pleasant beaches that are also safe for children. These include the Punta Hermosa and Santa Maria beaches. Surfing in Peru deserves special mention. The many coastal beaches provide a variety of waves rarely seen in other localities. However, the water is usually quite cold, so surfers require wetsuits as well as surfboards. Both are expensive in Peru. A group of sailing enthusiasts in Lima holds regattas during the summer for Lightning class craft.

Both surf and small boat fishing are available at Pucusana (30 miles south) and Ancon, though they are expensive and it's difficult to get small boats in summer. Trout fishing is available at Lake Titicaca, on the Altiplano in southeast Peru about 810 miles from Lima, and in neighboring mountain streams, but not in the vicinity of the city.

Three aviation clubs are located about 12 miles from the city center. These include a flying club, a gliding club, and a parachute club. Fees vary and at times have been high by U.S. standards. A good working knowledge of Spanish is needed to participate in the activities of these clubs.

Lima has facilities for target, skeet, and trap shooting. You may rent or board horses at several stables and riding clubs. Inter-Club riding competition is well organized and competition keen. Spectator sports include horse races (held on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday), polo, colorful bullfights (October-November), soccer, basketball, cockfights, and professional boxing and wrestling.
Bring any sports equipment you plan to use here, particularly tennis and squash racquets, scuba equipment, surfboards, golf clubs, badminton sets, ping-pong, volleyball, hunting and fishing equipment, swings, plastic pools, bicycles, yard equipment for children, baseball gloves, balls, and bats. Local equipment is expensive. A game known as "fronton" is also popular and is similar to outdoor paddleball.

Lima offers a wide choice of good restaurants for business lunches and social dining. Sidewalk cafes and drive-in restaurants abound in the city. Some snackbars feature American-type services and food. Certain tourist areas offer more elegant dining. Many popular restaurants specialize in Chinese food, pizza, fried chicken, or Peruvian Creole food. Many U.S. fast food francheses such as Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Mc Donald's and Domino's Pizza operate in Lima.

Entertainment Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:19 PM

Several theaters in Lima show first-run movies. American films are popular and are widely shown with original soundtracks and Spanish subtitles. Lima also has live theaters with most performances in Spanish. An active amateur theater group, sponsored by the British community, regularly presents plays in English.

The National Symphony Orchestra offers concerts during winter, at times featuring vocal or instrumental artists from Europe, the U.S. or other Latin American countries. The city has a local ballet company, and international ballet companies occasionally perform. International soloists participate in the elegant Municipal Theater's annual opera season.

Lima has several nightclubs with dance orchestras and floorshows, discos, and good jazz bars. These clubs are expensive and prices vary according to the entertainment offered.

Peruvians celebrate their country's independence on July 28 and 29 with military parades, official receptions, and religious ceremonies.

Social Activities Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:20 PM

Most entertaining in Lima is done in private homes, clubs, or hotels. Staff members are invited to many official and nonofficial functions. Aside from the large receptions and dinners expected of the Ambassador, DCM, and some senior officers, entertaining depends on your wishes and finances.

Peruvians are conservative and reserved about admitting outsiders to their social and family circles, but they are friendly to Americans. With a little time and effort you can make valuable and pleasant friendships. It is a good idea to reconfirm appointments, particularly social engagements, the same day or the day before.

Social organizations open to membership by American personnel (some by invitation only, others by application) include the American Society of Peru, the Toastmasters, the American Women's Literary Club, the Lima Women's Chorale, Good Companions (British theater group), Lions, Rotary, and several sport clubs. For children, Lima has active affiliates of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girl Guides. Bring transfer cards if you wish to enroll your children in one of these groups.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:21 PM

Although the social life is active, most functions call for street clothes -dark suits for men and cocktail dresses for women. Very few official functions call for black tie for men and long evening dresses for women

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:22 PM

Officers of the various Diplomatic Missions in Lima no longer exchange calling cards upon arrival at post; newcomers may wish to bring a supply for official and personal calls. Cards can also be printed in Lima less expensively than in Washington, D.C. Engraving is expensive. Married personnel find "Mr. and Mrs." folding cards are practical invitations for informal entertaining.

Special Information Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:22 PM

Military personnel need to contact the chief of their service missions (MAAG, NIMA, DAO, NMRCD, Marine Detachment), for additional details on their organization, and for specific information on assignments, uniform clothing requirements, housing, and social practices. Statements made in this report about allowances, furniture, shipment, medical services, and other related items generally apply only to direct-hire employees. Contract personnel receive benefits only as stated in their contracts. However, if a contract stipulates that the Mission is to provide furniture to the contractor, read the guidelines in this report detailing furniture supplied.

The Embassy requests that employees bring eight passport photos, size 1.6 by 2 inches, in order to process the accreditation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Peruvian Driver's License. If the employee cannot obtain the requested size, he or she should contact the Personnel Office for assistance upon arrival.

Note: Personnel with diplomatic and/or consular titles receive diplomatic carnets issued by the Foreign Office; all other personnel receive official identity cards issued by the same office.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:25 PM

You can fly to Peru from most parts of the U.S. in less than 16 hours (6 hours nonstop from Miami). Military personnel must comply with the Foreign Clearance Guide procedures if stopping in Panama. The contract carrier from Washington is currently Delta Airlines.
Remember that the seasons are the reverse of those in the U.S., so pack your luggage accordingly. Also, essential documents, medicines and clothing especially for children should be brought with you. Send any other important items (extra clothing, linens, small household effects) in your UAB.

To avoid loss and damage in customs and excessive demurrage costs, ship airfreight and HHE so that they arrive as close to, but always after, your arrival. Please note that airfreight clearance may take up to a month.
Because of the delay in receiving airfreight, many people mail additional items to themselves via APO prior to their arrival at post. Such items might include (depending on the season) extra sweaters and blankets, additional toys, and books.

U.S. Government personnel must consign personal shipments to the U.S. Dispatch Agent whenever possible. But such agents cannot be used when: (1) shipment is door-to-door and responsibility for pickup, forwarding, and delivery lies with the company contracted; (2) the shipment is not made at government expense; or (3) military personnel own the shipment.

Instruct packers to line the interiors of crates and lift vans with waterproof paper or plastic for ocean shipments. Because Lima has a high level of humidity, dehumidifier products must be used. Pilferage and breakage in shipment at the Port of Callao can be a problem. Although security at Callao has improved recently, packers should use sufficient packing materials and strong-banded boxes of lift vans.
Ocean shipments and all papers for Lima should be addressed as follows:

Full Name
(Note if USIS, USAID, STATE, etc.)
American Embassy
Lima, Peru
Via: Callao

In door-to-door shipments to Peru add to the above:
Attention: (Name of carrier's agent)
For unaccompanied baggage see paragraph 2, Customs and Duties.
Due to the very limited storage space found in most quarters and post's inability to provide storage facilities, you should be very selective in packing items to be shipped to Post. Don't bring more than that which can be comfortably accommodated in moderate-sized quarters.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:26 PM

Peruvian law exempts from customs examination the accompanied baggage of accredited Ambassadors and Diplomatic Officers for the initial entry only. In general, this privilege is extended to the personal effects of such officials. The baggage and HHE of other authorized personnel can be inspected under Peruvian law, and such inspections are occasionally made.

Unaccompanied baggage and HHE of the Ambassador, Diplomatic Officers, and other official personnel including USAID, and USAID contract technicians are not charged customs duties when shipments arrive within 6 months from the date of your arrival. Such shipments should always be marked "Unaccompanied Baggage" since this wording will help to get early clearance from customs. This marking should appear on the bill of lading.
Official personnel without diplomatic status who are members of the Mission may bring in "free entry" shipments of personal HHE within the 6-month limit. These shipments must also be sent and marked as "Unaccompanied Baggage."
Shipments by authorized personnel arriving after the 6-month period are subject to duties. These duties, however, are then charged by the Foreign Office against a quota of duty exemptions granted annually to each officer according to rank. The quotas are as follows: Ambassadors and Ministers Plenipotentiary, $15,000; Mission Counselors and Chargés d'Affaires, Military, Navy and Air Attachés, and Counselors, $10,000; Directors and high officials of agencies and international organizations, Civil, Cultural, Commercial Attachés, First, Second and Third Secretaries, and Attachés, official and international experts (USAID), $8,000; administrative staff, $6,000. Under agreement with the Peruvian Government, USAID employees are considered the equivalent of First Secretaries for customs purposes. Values to be charged against the quotas are free on board (f.o.b.) value. A major portion (80%) of an individual's quota is pooled to establish duty-free entry for the commissary.

UAB (airfreight), HHE, and POV shipments must be planned so as to arrive in Peru at the time of employee's arrival. UAB, HHE, and POV must not/not arrive at post prior to employee's arrival. Paperwork for liberation of UAB, HHE, and POV cannot/cannot be processed until employee is accredited to the mission. It is important to know that if a shipment arrives at port before the arrival of the employee and it is not cleared from customs within 30 days, the GOP considers the shipment to be abandoned and will auction it. Clearance of UAB, HHE, POV generally takes from 3 to 4 weeks.

Passage Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:30 PM

Bring a copy of both your air and sea freight shipment inventory/packing list to GSO customs and shipping unit as soon as you arrive at post. If you are bringing firearms, liquor or flammables special restrictions apply and you must advise post in advance.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, new arrivals are authorized only three duty free shipments. Upon arrival notify both the customs and shipping section and human resources that you plan on making supplemental shipments so it is noted on your applications. Failure to advise this will make shipments beyond the initial three subject to very high Peruvian taxes. Prior to making a supplemental shipment, GSO customs and shipping will again need a packing list.
The Mission emphasizes that all shipments of baggage and HHE (in fact, everything except automobiles), should be shipped to Peru plainly marked as Unaccompanied Baggage. This marking must also appear on the bill of lading.
Each person entering the country on official business must have a valid passport and a Peruvian visa. If you are unable to obtain a Peruvian visa, please advise by immediate telegram.

All agencies arrange to meet and accommodate newcomers when they are notified of arrival. Inform your parent agency in Lima as far ahead as possible as to mode of travel and expected arrival time. If arriving by ship, give the name of the vessel. Also tell them how many people will be with you so arrangements can be made for adequate transportation and customs clearance.
All new arrivals will receive a welcoming cable or letter. If you need additional information or have other questions, write or email the Management Affairs Counselor (MAO) or Executive Officer (USAID). The Mission desires to be as helpful as possible and the concerns of new personnel are our concerns. The Community Liaison Office (CLO) sends important letters about Post to incoming employees who also receive welcome packets upon arrival.
For security reasons, all new arrivals receive official transportation from the airport to temporary (or, if available, permanent quarters.) Please be sure that the Embassy has been advised of your exact arrival time. If you are not met, call the Embassy (618-2436). A Marine Guard is always on duty.

Following is important information on the importation of vehicles to Peru.
Restrictions: There is an engine size limitation to import personal owned vehicles (POVs) established by the Government of Peru (GOP) as follows:
1. Ambassador: May import duty free two vehicles without engine size restrictions, every three years.
2. Charge D'affairs, Minister Counselor, Counselor, Military, Naval, Air and Police Attaches; Consul General and Director of International Organizations: may import duty free one vehicle up to 3.0 liters engine size every three years.
3. Diplomatic officers with the ranks of first, second, and third secretaries, consuls, vice consuls, military, naval, air and police assistant attaches: may import duty free one vehicle up to 2.5 liters engine size every three years.
4. Administrative and technical staff may import one vehicle up to 1.8 liters engine size, which must be imported within six (6) months after the member has arrived in country and is accredited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Motorcycles or off road recreational items are considered vehicles. The number of vehicles authorized to be imported duty free is mentioned above for each category. A second vehicle, like a motorcycle, could be brought into Peru with the agreement to re-export it at the end of the employee's official tour. Please contact GSO/Customs and Shipping Unit for more information. Newly-assigned employees must obtain advance approval from the Management Affairs Counselor (MAO) prior to shipping a second vehicle.

Vehicles imported duty free by accredited employees can be sold locally tax-free after the vehicle has been three years in country. If the employee is transferred or finishes his official tour before three years, he/she will need to pay the import taxes for the remaining time to complete the three-year period. That amount will be calculated by the MFA dividing the import taxes by thirty-six (36), and the result will be multiplied by the number of months remaining to complete the three year-period.

If an employee arrives in Peru with travel authorization for two years of duty only and is accredited accordingly to the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), he/she can sell the vehicle tax free at the end of his/her official tour. But for this two-year exception to apply the employees' tour must end without fail in exactly two years. Otherwise, the three-year rule applies.
Under current GOP regulations, vehicles exceeding the engine size authorized may be brought into Peru under a temporary importation permit for a period not to exceed one year. After the one-year period, the vehicle must either leave the country or the appropriate import taxes (97% of the C.I.F. value of the vehicle) must be paid. Post will request, but cannot guarantee extensions to the one year time limitation imposed upon vehicles imported under the temporary importation permit. A vehicle imported under temporary importation cannot, repeat cannot be sold locally, it must be shipped abroad or to the employee's next Post. Please contact GSO/Customs & Shipping if you plan to bring a vehicle with larger engine size.

Parking spaces are small and garage doors tend to be no higher than 68 inches. Personally owned vehicles with height greater than 68 inches must not be shipped to Post without previous Post approval. If someone must ship a larger vehicle, they may have to be housed in an apartment building.

Purchase and Sale of Vehicles: Non-US specification vehicles are readily available both new and used at prices at or below US prices.

All personnel bringing a vehicle to post must provide the following documents and information: 1) copy of vehicle's commercial invoice/bill of sale and copy of the ownership title even if they are second hand vehicles, and 2) gas emission certificate. These documents must be hand carried as they are required for customs clearance. If this is not possible, the losing post, Dispatch Agent, or military transport officer should mail it to Lima as quickly as possible.

Vehicle documents must, repeat must, contain the following information: make, model, year, serial number, engine number, number of cylinders, color, capacity of engine in liters or cubic centimeters, cost of the vehicle in U.S. dollars. If the documents do not contain all the information required, employees will have to provide it to post in writing. The MFA and the Peruvian customs will request the engine number (located in the engine block) for the custom clearance and registration of vehicles. For GOP authorities, the engine and serial numbers of vehicles are different, if the two numbers are the same, a certification from the proper authority or dealer is required.
Without the documents mentioned above, post cannot clear the vehicle out of customs.

Pets Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:31 PM

Pet owners should contact GSO customs & shipping at least one month before bringing a pet to post. Post needs complete information on the type of animal, size and weight of the pet you plan to bring. Please also include in the notification your pet's breed, name, age, color, sex, estimated value, and scheduled date of arrival. Some landlords allow pets and a limited number of such quarters may be available.
Pets can arrive as accompanied baggage or as cargo.

- If a pet arrives as accompanied baggage the owner must carry with him the export certificate from the Department of Agriculture, a health certificate and vaccination certificate and bring US$50.00 cash to cover Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture fees. Arrival can be any day of the week.
- If pet arrives as cargo a copy of the airway bill, export certificate, health certificate and vaccination certificate must be sent to customs & shipping unit to the following fax 511-434-3066 at least five working days prior to the arrival of the pet. The pet needs to arrive at Post on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday because customs office closes on weekends. There will be an approximate charge of US $510 cash per pet for expenditure services that owners must pay, such as:
o Handling
o Warehousing
o Ministry of Agriculture Fee
o Import Taxes
o Embassy GSO expeditor services which is approximately US $20 per hour.
Note: Customs clearance of pets take approximately seven hours. GSO can provide names of private companies who provide this service.

Please note that during the summer months due to high temperature of air cargo holds air carriers flying from the U.S. enforce a pet embargo that may extend from May 15 through September 15. Owners must check with their individual air carriers for specific details.

There are a number of good veterinarians around Lima and some provide 24 hour service in case of emergencies. The commissary sells pet food and pet items.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:31 PM

Any employee, contractor or dependent wishing to import any firearm must forward a written request to Post, attention RSO and GSO prior to coming to post. Include the make, model, caliber and serial number of every weapon. Generally, only one handgun and one shotgun or rifle per household will be approved. Exceptions may be granted to law enforcement officers. Local law provides that law enforcement and military personnel are authorized to import handguns in calibers up to .45 (pistol) and .357 (revolver). All others are limited to 9mm and .38 calibers respectively. Shotguns up to 12 gauge and rifles up to .44 caliber are permitted. Personal full automatic weapons are not allowed. The only approved method for shipping firearms to or from Post is within an employee's household effects. A sole exception will be made for Federal Law Enforcement Officers who may follow individual agency guidelines for the transport of weapons used in official duties. Authorization by post to import weapons does not allow the employee to carry the weapon in country. All requests to carry weapons in country must be submitted to the Regional Security Office and approved by the Ambassador. All firearms brought into Peru must be taken out of the country upon transfer. Department of State regulations do not permit ammunition to be shipped in either air or surface freight.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:32 PM

Peru's currency changed on January 1, 1986, from the Sol to the Inti. On January 1, 1991, the currency changed from the Inti to the new Sol. In April 1, 2004, the exchange rate was new soles 3.41= US $1.

A legacy from the years of hyperinflation is that many businesses price items in U.S. dollars. Payment is usually made in the Sol equivalent value but many stores readily accept U.S. Dollars as well. Counterfeiting, both of U.S. Dollars and Soles, is a problem and caution should be exercised when conducting transactions. Peru uses the metric system of weights and measures, except for gasoline, which is sold by the gallon.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:36 PM

Official American personnel do not pay Peruvian personal and income taxes but do pay sales taxes on municipal services, airline tickets (reimbursable), restaurants, movies, gasoline and telephone service.
The Embassy and USAID cashiers do not provide accommodation exchange. A local bank operates in both locations, cashing personal checks for dollars or local currency and performing all banking transactions.

U.S. Government American personnel receive salaries and allowances in dollars by direct deposit. You should establish and maintain a checking account in the U.S. Salaries and allowances may be sent directly to your bank in the U.S. by arranging a pay allotment after you arrive at post.

Newly arrived Department of State employees will continue to receive salary payments through the Consolidated Financial Service Center in Charleston, S.C. Payment of allowances and differentials is normally delayed from 4 to 6 weeks following arrival at post.

Upon departure, the respective Financial Management Office (with the Ambassador's approval) may convert excess Soles from sale of personal property into dollars. Employees must certify that such Soles were acquired legitimately.

Exportation of Peruvian Antiquities

The Government of Peru prohibits the exportation of ancient Indian artifacts and colonial art. The U.S. Government supports this policy and, in accordance, with the GOP Law No. 12958 of February 22, 1958, and Decree of Law 18780 of February 4, 1971 (available in General Services Office), U.S. employees are prohibited from including such articles in their HHE or exporting them by any other method.
The packing companies in Lima are prohibited from packing and shipping items that appear to be antiques and will return such items to the Mission if the employee has departed post. Due to the large number of facsimiles, the packing companies cannot differentiate between the real item and a copy. In order to avoid delays, acquire in advance a certification from the Instituto Nacional de Cultura verifying that the item is a copy and may be exported. Contact GSO for assistance in obtaining the certification.
The post is not responsible for any item returned by the packing company. Such items may be turned over to the Peruvian authorities for disposal.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:33 PM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on Peru. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

Bingham, Hiram. Lost City of the Incas. Phoenix Press, 2003.

Caraway, Caren. Peruvian Textile Designs. International Design Library, Stemmer House, 1983.

Carey, James C. Peru and the United States, 1900-1962. Notre Dame Press, 1964.

Clayton, Lawrence. Peru and the United States: The Condor and the Eagle. University of Georgia Press, 1999.

Crabtree, John. Fujimori's Peru: The Political Economy. University of London Press, 1998.

Crabtree, John. Peru (Oxfam Country Profile Series). Oxfam Publishing, 2003.

De Soto, Hernando. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else. Basic Books, 2003.

Frost, Peter. Exploring Cusco. Nuevas Imagenes S.A., 1989.

Hemming, John. Conquest of the Incas. University of New Mexico Press, 1990.

Kenney, Charles D. Fujimori's Coup and the Breakdown of Democracy in Latin America. University of Notre Dame Press, 2004.

Klaren, Peter F. Peru: Society and Nationhood in the Andes. Oxford Press, 1999.

Insight Guides - Peru. Insight Guides, 3rd edition, 2003.

Lonely Planet Peru. Lonely Planet Publications, 2000.

McClintock, Cynthia and Fabian Vallas. The United States and Peru: Cooperation at a Cost. Routledge, 2002.

Minta, Stephen. Aguirre: The Re-Creation of a 16th Centry Journey Across South America. Henry Holt and Company, 1993.

Morales, Edmundo. Cocaine: White Gold Rush in Peru. University of Arizona Press, 1989.

Moseley, Michael E. The Incas and their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru. Thomas and Hudson, Ltd., 1992.

Palmer, David Scott. The Authoritarian Tradition. Praeger Publishers, 1980.

Palmer, David Scott, ed. Shining Path of Peru. St. Martin's Press 1992.

Peru: A Country Study (Area Handbook). Claitors Law Books and Publishing, 4th edition, 1993.

Poole, Deborah and Gerardo Renique. Peru: Time of Fear. Latin America Bureau, 1992.

Prescott, William H. History of the Conquest of Peru. Phoenix Press, 2002.

Simpson, John. In the Forests of the Night: Encounters in Peru with Terrorism, Drug-Running and Military Oppression. Random House, 1993.

Stap, Don. A Parrot Without a Name: The Search for the Last Unknown Birds on Earth. University of Texas, 1990.

Vargas Llosa, Alvaro. The Madness of Things Peruvian: Democracy Under Seige. Transaction Publishers, 1994.

Vargas Llosa, Mario. A Fish in the Water: A Memoir (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1994). Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (Farrar, 1982 or paperback, Avon, 1985). The War of the End of the World (Farrar, 1984). The Feast of the Goat (Picador, 2002).

Wethey, Harold H. Colonial Architecture and Sculpture in Peru. Harvard University Press, 1949.

Wise, Carol and Riodan Roett, eds. Post-Stabilization Politics in Latin America: Competition, Transition, Collapse. Brookings Institution Press, 2003.

Wise, Carol. Reinventing the State: Economic Strategy and Institutional Change in Peru. University of Michigan Press, 2003.

Wright, Ronald. Cut Stones and Crossroads: A Journey in Peru. Viking Penguin, 1988.

Local Holidays Last Updated: 4/22/2004 3:35 PM

New Year's Day American
Martin Luther King's Birthday American
Washington's Birthday American
Holy Thursday (half day) Peruvian
Good Friday Peruvian
Labor Day Peruvian
Memorial Day American
St. Peter & St. Paul Peruvian
U.S. Independence Day American
Independence Day Peruvian
St. Rose of Lima Peruvian
Labor Day American
Combat of Angamos Peruvian
Columbus Day American
All Saints Day Peruvian
Veterans Day American
Thanksgiving Day American
Immaculate Conception Peruvian
Christmas American

If any authorized U.S. Federal Holiday falls on a Saturday, the Embassy is normally closed on the preceding Friday. If such a holiday falls on a Sunday, the Embassy is normally closed on the following Monday.

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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