Peru has enjoyed a string of successes in recent years, including a thriving tourism scene that makes the country a bucket-list destination for many travelers around the world. The South American country still struggles economically, though, with 50 percent of its population living in poverty. The problems are most severe in remote areas of Peru, where indigenous communities must subsist on scant resources with little help from the government.
Lifetree Adventures offers groups the chance to journey to one such community deep in the Peruvian rain forest where the Shipibo people live on the banks of the Ucayali River in 300 small villages. The river is the lifeblood of these people, but also their greatest enemy; seasonal flooding can destroy homes and bring water teeming with disease and parasites. It is the only water source the Shipibo have.
During numerous trips throughout the year, groups traveling with Lifetree help train the Shipibo natives in basic hygiene skills that will greatly reduce infection and disease. Group members also help assemble and demonstrate water filtration systems that can dramatically lower infant mortality rates in the villages. Other service opportunities include construction, children’s ministry, sports camps and medical clinics.
Church travelers can join some of Lifetree Adventures’ regularly scheduled departures, some of which are designated as men’s groups, women’s groups and youth groups, or schedule customized trips for their groups. The company’s packages include transportation logistics and fundraising assistance.