Recently, Bill Gates gave an interview in which he advised against giving foreign aid to Peru. (http://www.peruthisweek.com/news-1623-Bill-Gates-Aid-should-go-to-the-most-poor-not-middle-income-countries-like-Peru/.)
Gates states that Peruvians have a per capita annual income of $10,000. I believe that, because I've seen more filthy rich millionairs here than anywhere in the U.S. The problem is that the gap between the few individuals who are filthy rich and the multitudes who are filthy poor is as wide and deep as the grand canyon. 25% of peruvians live on $1 per day! Another 25% live on $2 per day. Of Peru's 28 million residents, 14 million earn an average annual wage of $547.50. (A person earning minimum wage in Ohio earns that in 9 days.) So, if half the country is earning $547.50, those on the higher end of the food chain are bringing home some mighty thick slices of bacon. That is, someone is earning a lot of money to bring the average up to $10,000.
Peru's problem is one of resource utilization. Peru has minerals which are highly valued in the world's industrial markets. It also has large deposits of natural gas. Very little of the wealth generated from these natural resources trickles down to the masses, but it can be seen in infrastructure. In order for international mining and banking corporations to siphon off the wealth of Peru's mineral deposits, they need roads, water, electricity and internet connections. The resulting infrastructure enables economic growth for the remaining masses. It also enables me to have internet. But the greatest resource in Peru is completely untapped; i.e. the intelligence of its hard working people. "According to a report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) … out of 131 countries ranked in the world, Peru was in last place in the quality of its elementary school education and in 130th place in the areas of math and science (Peru Ranked Last in the World in Quality of Education,‖ Living in Peru, http://www.livinginperu.com/news-5061-education-peru-ranked-last-world-quality-education)."
So, I agree with Gates that Peru does not need foreign money. But it still needs aid--in forms that develop the minds and souls of its people. That is the power of Latin America ChildCare--the ministry which we represent in Peru. By ministering to the poor through the impartation of the Gospel and education, we are transforming the lives of those who live in abject poverty.