Small gifts to bring to Peru

Old Aug 12th, 2012, 06:04 AM
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Small gifts to bring to Peru

Could anyone suggest some things to bring for the children of Peru. What might be appreciated and yet practical to carry from the States? In what areas might these be most helpful?
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 06:14 AM
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When I asked our guide David Choque in Cusco he suggested the following items:

- pencils/other school supplies
- colouring books
- stickers

But his main suggestion (if you can accommodate it in your luggage) was kids' jeans (gently used just fine) I went to Goodwill and bought 10 pairs of jeans for $25 - some of which I swear had never been worn - and took them in a separate small soft bag.

If you're going to Lake Titicaca for a home stay batteries and/or flash lights are very appreciated.

Have a great time!
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 06:24 AM
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Here is a link to an organisation we did some work with in Ollantaytambo in the Sacrd Valley a few years ago. scroll down to the Send Parcels section for some ideas.

Writing materials are always appreciated in the villages as are decorative hair clips and such like for the girls. All of these can be purchased locally in the markets rather than brought with you, thus boosting the local economy . Medicines, toothpaste, soap are all appreciated by the adults caring for the kids but probably less so by the children themselves!

Any school will appreciate your helping the children but the villages in the countryside will arguably benefit the most as they get less visitors. You could also search online for some NGOs operating in the areas you intend visiting but do investigate thoroughly as all are not what they pretend to be and some are run more for the benefit of the organisers rather that the communities.
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 06:29 AM
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crellston - of course you're right - I answered too soon. We now always buy the supplies in the country to contribute to the economy.
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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The area we found when we were there that needed things the most was the northern Amazon area. School supplies were much appreciated as well as toiletries of all kinds (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, neosporin, band-aids, shampoo, etc.). In addition to what's been mentioned above, thread, needles and buttons are also needed. For fun, the kids, boys and girls, loved baseball caps! We purchased some at Goodwill and also asked friends if they had some they didn't want or wear -- you'll get lots from friends. Also for fun, freesbies and soccor balls (deflate and carry a pump -- or just buy there). Also, bright t-shirts for all ages, skirts for the females, shorts for guys -- jeans may be too hot in some areas -- but always welcome I'm sure.

If you go to the Lake Titicaca area, purchase fruit and take to the remote islands. Fresh fruit is limited in those areas. You can buy huge bags of bananas, apples and oranges at the boat dock area. The kids loved the juicy oranges!

For both area, books in Spanish are popular. All ages. Preschool to adult. Also, underwear is always needed, boys and girls, kids and adults. Cotton is best.

Keep in mind that they have limited recycling. So pencils are better than pens. Unwrap things that are in plastic and leave the plastic at home. Take your used batteries home rather than leaving there.

You'll love Peru. Such warm, friendly people. Ahhh, would LOVE to return.....
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 09:20 AM
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Thank you all so much for the wonderful suggestions. We often forget that the little things we buy when travelling would be desired but not afforable for those who live in the wonderful countries we get to visit. I will be off to Goodwill -and I know so many families with excess hats!!
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Old Aug 12th, 2012, 11:09 AM
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Pls take the future: bilingual paying cards, manual puzzles, coloring books, items to keep their minds exploring solutions.. it works wonders. Luis at
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Old Jun 8th, 2016, 02:41 PM
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I did a homestay for one night the village of Luquina on Lake Titicaca. Luquina is village with little contact to the modern world. I brought...

Peruvian corn snacks
soccer ball (full size) and pump
Bandaids of various sizes with antibiotic treatment
toothbrushes / floss / paste individually packed little ziplock bags as kits
reading glasses
hotel soaps
Body wipes
"Life Gear" flashlight (with white, red, red flashing option. Lightweight.
Markers and notebook

Literally all items were a big hit. Notable was that one daughter needed to bring a toothbrush to school the following week and the parents had not yet gone across to Puno to buy so he was grateful for that one! The head of the family thanked me repeatedly for all the thoughtful items.

I brought multiples of personal supplies so they could share with others, or if they had a large family. My host family had 3 generations, 7 people.

In the future, I would also bring good socks (like hiking socks), floppy sun hats, neck gaitor, warm leggings and hiking headlamps, little solar powered flashlights (like for key chain) for the family. I would also remember to bring extra batteries or a solar charger for rechargeable batteries.

Basic necessities are hugely appreciated.

For my guide on the Cusco / Machu Picchu part of the trip, I gave him the remainder of my Picaridin mosquito repellent, baseball cap, bubbles for his son and cash in USD.
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