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E-commerce for real people

On several occasions, I've gone online to order flowers, cakes, liquor and other goodies to be sent to my relatives in Lima. Tried a couple of services, but the one I like best is called Iquiero.com. This is a service that began in Perú but has since expanded to serve Colombia and Bolivia. The premise is simple: there are millions of latinos in the U.S. who besides sending money back to their relatives, want to be able to send the occasional birthday or Christmas gift without a two-month delay or the risk of theft-by-mail-employee. This site lets you send gifts quite easily, and by our economic standards, quite inexpensively.

Best of all, since labor is so inexpensive in the destination country, you get hand-writen confirmation emails and the goodies are hand-delivered by living, breathing human beings who don't ring the doorbell, leave a post-it and run back to their brown trucks. Nice touch: they'll even capture a thank-you message from the recpients, which is promptly emailed to the sender.

What I find fascinating is that besides ordering every kind of consumer product imaginable, you can use Iquiero to stock someone's pantry. They offer baskets of staple ingredients at several price points. The biggest basket costs $52 and includes the items below. (I didn't include the package sizes, but some of the items are indeed family size.)

I wonder what these items would cost in the States, if ordered through an online grocery company? For someone living and working in the U.S., $52 would seem like a pittance, yet it could set up a loved one with enough groceries for a week (remember, big families).

If one could find the name and address of a family that is struggling to feed their kids (and believe me there are lots of them) , it would be a lot of fun to surprise them with a gift like this. It would be the "random acts of kindness" thing, done up e-commerce style. Anyone game? I'm sure I could dig up some names from my friends...

The "Complete" Grocery Basket, from Iquiero.com

This is an absolutely brilliant idea! Thanks for the tip! I have a contact in Los Laderas (refer to the photo that you linked and my journal entry http://rebelsperuvianadventure.blogspot.com/2005/04/los-laderas.html) that I could ship this kind of care package to for use in their community.

Great idea for an atypical fundraiser!
Alright, let's do this! Rebel, give it some thought and let us know how you think it would work. One thing we'd want to make sure of is that we don't make a scene or any unintended jealousies...
Okay...it´s been arranged! Please check out my journal entry with the greater details at...


The nuts and bolts of it is that we can have these care packages distributed to the community in Las Laderas as well as here at the children´s refugio. I have provided contact information for anyone interested in having a package delivered.

Thanks for the great idea and for helping to spread the word!
Rebel, I checked out your post. Looks like it'll be easy, now that we have addresses. I'm going to contact the Iquiero folks and see if they can capture a digital snapshot and/or message each time they deliver a package. I think that getting confirmation and seeing their gift in the hands in the recipients will mean alot to some people and help make it more tangible (that's the marketer in me talking). Even if they can't pull it off, I'll do another post soon, this one with some pictures of the kids at the refugio and the famlies at Las Laderas.

Thanks again. I'll keep you posted!

Hey ther Don,

Any additional information on this yet? I´ve got some folks that are chomping at the bit to participate!

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