The Jesuits historically have had an enormous presence in Peru and have established some of best educational institutions in the country serving a broad range of constituencies but with a commitment for the most impoverished and marginalized. Jesuit Volunteers have been serving in Peru since the 1980s through the invitation of Father Fred Green from the California Province, who through his relationship with Boston College and JVC began receiving volunteers to serve in Tacna, Peru. In 2010, JVC opened another JV community in Andahuaylillas (or “Anda”), about 45 minutes from Cuzco, through an invitation by the Provincial of Peru who had designated this region as demonstrating the greatest need for JVs and the Jesuit community.
With deep roots and stories, Tacna is one of the oldest JV sites. The Jesuit relationship with Casa Fred Green and the larger Tacna community remains strong through its presence with the volunteers and various social service centers and schools. Jesuits and JVs work with the whole range of Tacneñas, from the working to the wealthy classes. The dynamics of the region itself have changed greatly since JVs first arrived. In the center of the city, need is certainly present but not as apparent as in the past. Elsewhere in Tacna, new communities of in-country migrants develop rapidly but frequently lack basic services and resources. Tacna is a border town, meaning it acts as a stopping for many Colombian and Venezuelan immigrants trying to get to Chile. Tacna owes much of its economic development to Chileans who enjoy shopping in Tacna with the lower Peruvian exchange rate. These dynamics create varied nuances, some are explicitly seen, others are only uncovered by paying attention to the “unseen” or the silences of those often made “invisible” in this context.
Current Volunteers (Tacna, Peru)
Volunteers to date (Tacna, Peru)
Average # of JVs Internationally
JVC Peru Established
"My community mates will remind me to 'lean into' frustrations and uncertainty that arise with each situation. 'Lean into it,' is a mantra that means to accept, to respect, and to embrace all aspects of a culture. I’m learning poco a poco to lean into Peruvian uncertainty."
We cannot know what happens to “the face of the future” until we too respond to that knock on our door. And while I cannot answer with a quick solution to every problem my neighbors face, I can react with a listening ear.
"In some ways, Mes de Misión is a concentrated version of what it means to serve as a volunteer in a program with a focus on faith in action."
"JVC is such a unique opportunity. It opens you up to a world of opportunity: you form friendships, form bonds, and get to know yourself in a much deeper way. The community and the students, they taught me that I really needed to focus on individual relationships and friendships—just to 'be present.'"
We provide this short list of agency partners to give prospective applicants an idea of the types of organizations JVC partners within a given city. There is no guarantee that an agency partner will reapply for a Jesuit Volunteer nor can we promise that a JV will be matched with a specific agency during their matching process.
We gathered a list of cool things to do in your city of service based on recommendations from our former and current volunteers:
-Explore the archaeological site of Miculla in the northern part of the city
-Hop on a bus to Chile, the border is only a half hour away!
-Head over to one of Tacna's many beaches
-Do like the Tacneños do and stroll up and down Avenida Bolognesi-the city's main street-while enjoying some picarones (Peruvian-style doughnuts)
-Enjoy a TASTY burger at one of several Tacna burger joints-we recommend "La Cochera"
Get in touch with a recruiter to learn more about performing vital service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.