How to Buy a Thanksgiving Turkey in Peru

El Día de Acción de Gracia or Thanksgiving is not a big deal here in Peru. My host family has never celebrated it and they have also said they don’t know anyone else who has celebrated it either. So of course when my site mate said he wanted to organize a Thanksgiving for the volunteers who live near us and their families I was down.

Today, we got the drop on the bird and I was invited to drive out and retrieve it. So now if you’re ever are stuck in the middle of nowhere Peru and you need a Thanksgiving turkey STAT,  here are directions on how how you do it. Just follow these steps exactly and you should be solid. You’re welcome in advance.

  1. Cram as many people as possible in the smallest car possible because no other way is appropriate here in Peru. IMG_6132

2. Make sure that someone in the car is going to all of a sudden have the need to make an erroneous stop to pick up a live chicken. This is important because without this its impossible to be ridiculously late on La Hora Peruana.IMG_6139

3. Arrive to your middle of nowhere destination just in time for the turkey to not be there yet.

4. Step number 3 allows for step 4! Now you can waste time by walking up the street to visit the mom of a friend of your host family’s and shoot the breeze a little bit while the turkey is in route from the chakra (farm).


5. Pick some star fruit and mangoes, and try new exotic fruits like pumarosa.


6. Head back to see if your bird has arrived.

7. Ha! Don’t play yourself, you’re in Peru – of course the turkey isn’t there yet. Wait a little bit more!

8. The turkeys have arrived. Time to weigh those bad boys and make your pick.


9. If the turkey weighs less, we pays less – that’s the motto since we’re balling on the Peace Corps budget. Purchase the cheaper turkey, of course.


10. Pay up, name the turkey (we named ours Martin), you and the 5 million other people pile back in the car with said turkey and high tail it out of there.

As I write this our turkey, Martin, is still alive and enjoying his last night on this earth. Tomorrow we send him on home to Glory and have us a Peruvian Thanksgiving.



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