Serve Beyond Charities
An adventure in faith and service...building peace on earth.



Arequipa lies at more than 7,550 feet (2,300 meters) above sea level, at the foot of the Misti Volcano, which reaches an elevation of 19,098 feet. The city was founded  in 1540 under the Spanish and is known as the “Ciudad Blanca” (white city) because of its old buildings made of “sillar” the white local volcanic stone.

The air is dry, and the climate is pleasant, with an annual average temperature of 58 F (14 C) and annual precipitation of about 4 inches (100 mm). Rain falls mainly in December and January. The city's supply of drinking water comes largely from glacier-fed reservoirs and aqueducts.

Arequipa has diversified industries and is a major processing center for alpaca, llama, and sheep's wool. It is the commercial, political, and military center of southern Peru, easily accessible by road and air. Arequipa is also a popular tourist center because of its historical city and Inca remains in the vicinity.

The fertile soils of the surrounding district produce a variety of crops, notably corn (maize), asparagus, leeks, hot peppers (“rocotos”), and potatoes. Arequipa, with a bit over a million people is Peru's second largest metropolitan population (after Lima - Callao), and has grown nearly fivefold since the 1960s, largely through immigration from rural areas especially from smaller cities as Puno, Juliaca and the many other surrounding Andean mountain villages.


Alto Cayma Facts and Figures

Alto Cayma is found at an altitude of 8858 feet above sea level and 10 miles from the center of the city of Arequipa.

The population is of around 32,000 people, mainly migrants from the various Andes Mountain villages and of the Quechua background.

There are at present 27 settlements and the number is expected to grow as more migrants are still coming in.

Some settlements still lack basic needs like water, electricity, sewer, education, health services, paved roads, transportation…

Reasons for Migration

  • Lack of basic facilities such as Health Care, Education, Proper Nutrition, Potable Water, Electricity, Transportation, etc.
  • Difficult climate conditions.
  • Lack of job opportunities.
  • No proper housing.
  • Free land, opportunities and comfort near the city.

Mountain Villages’ Facts and Figures

  • 9 Mountain villages are populated with around 3,000 people in all.
  • These villages are at altitudes of between 12,800 feet and 14,760 feet.
  • Severe climate conditions and primitive living conditions.
  • Main livelihood activities are alpaca livestock, small farming and handcrafts.
  • The villages lack basic facilities such as plumbing and electricity.



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