Most people are interested in Peru for what is left of the Inca Empire and culture. Visiting famous sites such as Machu Picchu and taking pictures of Peruvians wearing traditional costumes are the main attraction. Most visitors leave the country without getting to know the circumstances in which Peruvians live today.
Peru has alternated between democracy and military dictatorship over recent decades. Today, there is huge inequality between rich and poor. Indigenous people are largely excluded from both money and power.
The country has amazing natural resources, but, as ever, the benefits of that wealth are not shared by the majority of the population.
The current political and economic model focuses on the extraction and export of natural resources, not on the needs of the Peruvian population. There is little investment in developing the people’s skills and capacities. State health care or education is not a budget priority. Neither is developing policies that support internal markets (such as small-scale agriculture) or developing progressive environmental and social policies (according to the Peruvian Ombudsman, half the social conflicts in the country are related to environmental matters).
Our development workers are working together with local partner organisations to improve the living conditions of socially, economically and politically marginalised people.
At the same time they are getting issues such as water, sustainable resource management, governance, HIV and the environment onto the agenda in Peru – and are hence working to ensure that ordinary people have a voice and fair access to the wealth generated by the country’s natural resources.
Drop by Drop Report on Water Mismanagement in Peru
In spring 2011 Progressio launched a report to help understanding the impacts of the Ireland and the UK’s water footprint through a case study of Peruvian asparagus. Read more…
Watch this video on Climate Change and its effects on Peru.
Map of Peru
View Peru in a larger map