From Lima to Missionaries in Pucallpa

Our plane from Venice to South America took off on Thursday, August seventeenth. We first flew through Madrid to Colombia.

The final destination was Peru, as I wrote in the previous article, but we first flew to Medellín for a few days.

Adjusting to Columbia’s Time and Temperature

In Colombia, we spent three days on the outskirts of the city away from the hustle and bustle very close to the airport. Three days of silence and fresh air calmed us down and gave us time to adjust to the time change and climate difference!

We spent a few days in Medellin (Colombia) in the middle of nature, in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

In Medellin we spent a few days in nature, without going too far from the airport.
During these three days, we visited our friend Beatriz and took some personal belongings from the time we stayed in her apartment. The meeting with her was a reunion and a farewell at the same time. After a year, we saw each other again, but we all knew that this time we were really leaving.

Maybe God will lead us to Colombia again. After all, we forged quite a few friendly ties there, and we know very well that we can return to Colombia at any time. But we also know that doors have opened to us in Peru. We want to see and know what God has prepared for us in Pucallpa.

A Stop in Lima

From Columbia, we flew to Lima. Only through Lima can you fly on to Peru’s interior. Before we actually landed in the Amazon rainforest area, we wanted to stay in the capital for a while.

Lima (Peru), source:

The weather and temperature in Lima are still quite bearable. Currently, it is ‘winter’ in Peru – though the seasons here can hardly be compared to ours.

In reality, there are only two seasons in this part of the world: the arid winter and the rainy summer. Now the dry season is coming to an end, soon some time in October, it will start to rain. Then, it will rain almost every day, with only occasional sunshine until March or April.

In Lima, which lies along the cold Pacific, temperatures are fairly low at this time, between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit while, in the heart of the country and to the north, the climate is increasingly tropical and temperatures are constantly somewhere between 95 and 104 degrees. Humidity makes the felt temperature even higher.

At first, we wanted to stay in Lima much longer because the house of the Reátegui family was full. By the end of the month, their relatives were visiting. In the end, we decided to go to Pucallpa sooner.

Meeting Our Contacts

Charito is one of Elie’s daughters. As I wrote before, we met Elie almost two years ago in Mancora, at that time she was there with her daughter Jessy and grandson Alessio.

Charito Reátegui, in the municipality of Tournavista, where she served as mayor. Source: Facebook

When we told them about our journey and work, they immediately gave us contact from Justina del Carmen (everyone calls her “Charito”). In fact, they called her right there and introduced us over the phone. We had a brief exchange and have remained in constant contact ever since, although we only met in person two years later.

Charito is a lawyer standing up for women’s rights and equality. In Peru there is immense gender inequality, abuse, and violence. She is a former mayor of one of the towns near Pucallpa and founder of the Red de Mujeres Association, which advances women’s empowerment in Huánuco – a part of the Amazon rainforest near Pucallpa.

Charito knows a huge number of people in Pucallpa. God has indeed provided us with the right person to introduce us to a city, a culture, a way of living, thinking, and working so different, not only from ours but even from the Peruvian itself.

Charito also knows missionaries in Pucallpa.

Welcomed into the Pucallpa Community

As we studied various charitable activities in Pucallpa, we came across the parish of Don Bosco, led by Italian missionary Father Massimo Mattarucchi. This parish is considered particularly charitable and open. I will write more about this community in the following posts.

Part of the community at Don Bosco Parish in Pucallpa

Before arriving, we were considering accommodation options. We knew that we would not be able to stay in Charito’s house until the end of the month, so we asked her about these missionaries.

She told us that she knew Father Massimo well and organized a Zoom meeting with them later that day. Because Massimo is currently in Italy, we met another Italian, Gabriel Bovi, who has been working on the mission as a volunteer for nine years.

They willingly welcomed us on a mission and promised us a room. Our accommodation in Pucallpa was decided at least for a while.

Pucallpa at Long Last

After four days in Lima, we boarded a plane again, this time finally destined for Pucallpa – the place that had been calling us for so long.

Here’s how Charito greated us at the airport:

In the next post, I will write about how we were received on our mission, what they do in the community, and how settled in after our arrival in Pucallpa.

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