Culture Quests

Peru

South America
Capital: Lima
Languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, Amazonian languages
Useful links: Kids Culture Corner: Peru | CIA World Factbook

The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Peru. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.

Au Pairs in General

  • Peruvian candidates want to go to the U.S. because they love children and would like to improve their English language skills. The girls may be a little timid when they first meet a new person. They might become frustrated if they do not have time to study.
  • The idea of being an au pair is a new concept in Perú.
  • Applicants from Perú are motivated by a desire to improve their language skills, learn about other cultures, and make friends, as well as by their love for children. It is an excellent life experience.
  • Applicants do not have difficulty finding the program fees.
  • Young people in Perú have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
  • Curfews are common.
  • Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
  • Nudity is not common in or out of the home. Perú is a conservative country.
  • Peruvians are hardworking, family orientated and caring.

Child Care Practices

  • Common discipline techniques include love, communication and understanding.
  • Physical discipline is not common in Perú.
  • Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling, babysitting, teaching, social work, helper or assistant in a pre-school.
  • Parents share the childcare responsibilities.
  • It is common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.

Driving Skills

  • It is not common for girls under age 20 to have a driver’s license as it very expensive to obtain a license in Perú. Many applicants are obtaining their license as part of the au pair application process.
  • The driver’s license in is available at age 18 and is not difficult to obtain, but it is expensive.
  • Public transportation is readily available and affordable in Perú.
  • It takes approximately one month obtain a license in Perú.
  • Applicants must complete the following in order to obtain the driver’s license:
    • Medical tests – hearing and sight
    • Theoretical written test with traffic rules and scenarios
    • Psychological test
    • Practical test
    • Fees
    • Toxicology tests for drugs and alcohol.
  • The International driving permit is available.
  • Applicants typically take formal driving lessons and practice using their parents’ car or rent a car if they have the financial ability.
  • Most cars have manual transmission.

English Language Skills

  • English is a compulsory subject in public high schools and is taught for at least five years, once or twice a week. English is taught every day at private schools.
  • Classes focus on written and oral skills.

Education

  • Approximately 20% of young women continue their studies at University.
  • Others attend alternative educational institutions, travel, or work abroad.
  • The academic year starts in April and ends in December.
  • The Au Pair in America program is a great opportunity for candidates to improve their mastery of the English language and to gain life experience and maturity.

Health

  • The most common inoculations are Polio, tetanus and Diphtheria combined, TB, measles, mumps, and rubella.
  • Most young women are inoculated and tested for TB (Tuberculosis).
  • Perú has a free health service.
  • Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis, although it is expensive.
  • “Eating disorders” are a sensitive issue and are not openly discussed, so applicants may be hiding their eating disorders.

Diet

  • Most young people in Perú eat meat daily.
  • Vegetarianism is not common.
  • A typical Peruvian diet includes rice, potatoes, beans, chicken, vegetables and a lot of fish.

Religion

  • The most common religion in Perú is Christianity, especially Catholicism.
  • Most young people in Perú do not practice their religion regularly.
  • A young person would rarely choose to practice a religion that is different than her family’s religion.

Telephone & Internet

  • Most homes have a telephone and a computer with access to the Internet.
  • Family members will not able to take a message in English from a potential host family.

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