Cervical cancer is often the most common cancer among women in developing countries, yet current screening efforts have not been effective in reducing incidence and mortality rates in these settings. In an effort to increase knowledge about screening participation in low-resource settings, this study sought to identify key factors affecting women's participation in a cervical screening program in north central Peru. We studied women who were exposed to various health promotion educational activities and compared a total of 156 women who sought screening between July 2001 and October 2003 with 155 women who did not. Results from logistic regression identified four significant predictors of screening: higher relative wealth, knowing other screened women, seeking care from a health facility when sick and satisfaction with services at the health facility. When we restricted our analysis to women who had experienced screening in the past, two additional predictors emerged: having a husband who was supportive of screening participation and attending an awareness-raising session. These results have important programmatic value for tailoring outreach efforts for women and indicate that different strategies may be required to best reach women who have never been screened.