One Year. One Physical Therapist in Trujillo, Peru.

Combining passions of global public health with travel and cultural immersion... With the help of the Catholic Medical Mission Board, I was afforded the opportunity to live outside of Trujillo, Peru for one year's time (2010-2011). Check out old posts about my experiences as a PT working in hospitals, a school, an outpatient clinic, doing research/community based rehabilitation, and a little teaching too. And my experiences with an entire calendar year of holidays, cultural customs and new culinary experiences!

I make it back about once a year with university students/CMMB projects, so I will periodically provide updates :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Exploring Trujillo and Peru Mission

I’d made a few short trips into the “big city” before this past weekend, but they were usually for a quick meal with someone, so I hadn’t really gotten a good feel for Trujillo yet. Saturday I met my friend Jose in town and he gave me a fantastic walking tour, beginning at the Plaza de Armas (picture below). 

Jose works for an organization called “Peru Mission” (, a facilitator of Christian community development here in Peru. The programs in Trujillo range from group Bible studies, music and medical mission work in clinics to economic development including a microfinance program and a locally-run woodshop.  He gave me a tour of the woodshop and I was completely enthralled by the whole process. They use wood that’s already been cut down for other reasons to create these absolutely incredible looking modern works of art.

We also wandered through the large marketplace and shopping area in downtown Trujillo, and Jose helped me get my bearings as many streets look alike here. Trujillo definitely feels a lot more clean, modern, European and safer than La Esperanza, though only 15 minutes away. The big city ambiance is quite the contrast from the outer-lying poor communities- clean paved streets and brightly colored buildings with a mixture of architectural styles, some areas reminisce of the Spanish historical influence in Peru. Trujillo also boasts a lot of modern amenities- hot showers, fancy apartments and restaurants, 2 malls, and even gyms and lap swimming pools! Though we wandered around the “tourist area,” I haven’t seen a single other American here, aside from my friends in Chimbote and Jose.

The highlight of the afternoon, of course, revolved around food. We stopped in at Jose’s favorite place to get a sandwich de pollo- shredded chicken in a bun with sauce and vegetables piled on- fantastic! And then had some dessert – my first taste of Peruvian helado. It had to be the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I’m trying to pace myself with the food for fear of stomach problems but it’s really hard to hold myself back!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amber: I am a CMMB donor and just got their newsletter that features you. In 1979 I was a foreign exchange student for a summer in Trujillo (in Urb. San Andres), and I still have frequent contact with my host family, in addition to having returned three times to visit them, and one of my "brothers" coming to the US in 1994 to get his MBA in Health Care Administration. Hopefully, one or more of my brothers will visit you. I look forward to reading your blog closely and following it.