Peru, Censo 2017

Tuesday the 17th of October 2017.

censo_peru_2017_tourist_informationImportant Travel Information: If you’re traveling in Peru on Sunday the 22nd of October you might encounter some difficulties.

To find out how many men and women live in Peru, what their race is, their cultural background, their education, social status, etc. The Peruvian government has decided to organize a so called Censo (census, or survey) of the population on Sunday the 22nd of October 2017. Shortly, officially and in theory, this means that everyone who is that day in Peru will be asked some questions and their answers will be registered to help future planning of public services in Peru.
To make the work ‘easier’ for the people who are going to do these registrations, officially everyone who is in Peru on Sunday the 22nd of October is not allowed to travel and will have to stay at home, or in their hotel between 8:00 am and 17:00 h. During that time more than 608.500 volunteers, so called Empadronadores, or simply ‘Counters’ working for the Peruvian government will pass by all the places where people life or stay and ask them a few simple questions…

We all know that it is impossible to keep everyone in a country at home, so exceptions will be made for those who really have to work or travel that day, including policemen, nurses, doctors, firemen, workers at the Electricity Company, phone companies, airport employees, etc. In exchange those people who have to work on the 22nd of October will first have to register themselves at designated locations in their home town, between the 16th and 20th of October. They will have to fill in the questionnaire list from the Census and will then receive a so called “Constancia de Persona Empadronada”. With this proof of registration, they will be able to work on Sunday the 22nd of October.

Today, the 17th of October a new official resolution has been published. This resolution was requested by the tourist industry in Peru in order to lower the inconveniences for tourists who travel through Peru during the National Census, and especially for those who want to visit Machu Picchu. The full resolution, “Resolucion Jefarural No.358-2017-INEI” you can read in Spanish at the website of the official Peruvian newspaper: El Peruano:

 According to this latest official resolution each company that works in tourism (hotels, restaurants, guides, tourist transport, archaeological sites, museums, etc.) is now allowed to continue working on Sunday the 22nd of October. Provided that their employees fill in the Census questionnaire form between today and Friday the 20th of October and on the 22nd of October will carry their “Constancia de Persona Empadronada” with them.

With the new resolution it is now even possible that tourists who have filled in this Census questionnaire can leave their hotel.
Tourists who are already in Peru can also register themselves until Friday the 20th of October, 17:00 h at one of the temporarily ‘Censo offices’ spread through all Peruvian cities and towns. After filling in the questionnaire they will receive their proof of registration and are able to leave their hotel on October 22 between 8:00 am and 17:00 h.
Because I am also in Peru at the moment and will be working on Sunday, I went today to one of the Censo offices, filled in the simple questionnaire and received my “Constancia de Persona Empadronada”.

Tourists who are not yet in Peru, but will spend the night from Oct. 21 till Oct. 22 in a hotel of 3* or higher will be able to fill in the census questionnaire at the reception of their hotel on Sunday morning after 8:00 am. After that they will receive their proof of registration and are able to leave their hotel.
Tourists who stay that night in a hotel of less than 3* will have to wait before they’re allowed to leave their hotel, until an official Empadronador has written down their answers on the National Census questionnaire…

The information above is still all quite clear, but things get a bit more complicated when tourists want to travel through Peru on the 22nd of October.
Every tourist who has booked their touristic package, or even just a hotel or transfer before the 22nd of October will be able to travel normal that day provided that the employees of their local tour operator have already received their “Constancia de Persona Empadronada” and carry those with them.
However, tourists who haven’t made any bookings or travel reservations can get in trouble on the 22nd of October. National and international flights will fly according to their normal schedules, but (almost) all of the bus companies within Peru will not depart within 8:00 am until at least 17:00 h.
Travellers who arrive between 8:00 am and 17:00 h at a bus terminal or airport in Peru will be asked (kindly obligated) to fill in the questionnaire of the National Census before they can continue their travels. A detail is that those travellers officially do have to show that they have a reservation, either for a flight, hotel or tour package. If they don’t have any reservation then they can be asked to have to say at the bus terminal or airport until after 17:00 h. Besides that tourists will only be able to leave the bus terminal or airport with transport that has previously obtained their permit to work on the 22nd. To find this kind of transport without any previous reservation might become quite difficult. Likely many taxis can’t be bothered to obtain a “Constancia de Persona Empadronada”, because most Peruvians will have to stay at home and will not need any taxi that day.

Foreigners and national travelers who can show that they have an (international) flight on the 22nd of October will be allowed to leave their hotel before 8:00 am. If they arrive at the airport between 8:00 am and 17:00 h, they will still be asked to fill in the questionnaire, so it’s recommendable to plan some additional travel time. It is also highly recommendable to plan your transfer to the airport well ahead with a driver who has permission to work on the 22nd of October, because just getting a taxi in town will be very difficult…

Some other recommendations for Sunday the 22nd of October 2017:
-    Buy what you might need on groceries and gasoline the day before, because all mall’s, shops, gas stations and most restaurants and cafe’s will be closed that day, or only open after 17:00 h.
-    According to the last resolution of today all companies that work in tourism will be allowed to open their doors and receive tourists on the 22nd of October providing that their employees obtained their “Constancia de Persona Empadronada”. But because this decision had only been made very late in the process; companies don’t have to pay their employees who don’t work on this Sunday and because many Peruvians are still not very well organized, it is very well possible that many small tourist attractions will still be closed on Sunday the 22nd of October.
-    Most Empadronadores don’t speak English and the questions are all in Spanish, so you might need some patience to fill in the questionnaire.
-    Foreigners who speak Spanish are also allowed to sign up and help on the 22nd of October as one of Empadronadores. For your effort you will receive 50 Soles, a day off on Monday and an interesting experience.

More complete, but a little outdated information about the National Census in Peru you can find on their official website:

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