Recent Posts

July 8, 2014

On our second day in the Cusco area, students woke up in the quiet of mountain hamlets. In the morning we hiked the trails of a beautiful Inca site called Tipon, where water from an underground spring was channeled with such precision that it still runs and never changes in volume, even during times of drought or flood. Lunch was oven-roasted cuy (guinea pig), a Peru SST rite of passage. Guinea pigs were raised in every Inca household and remain a treat to the Andean people. After lunch we went to another Inca ruin, Pikillaqta, with shaman Basilio Samata. He…

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July 6, 2014

Exploring the Inca legacy

On our first day in Cusco, we explored some of the many Inca sites in the area. Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire when Peru was invaded by a small band of Spaniards in 1526. The Incas ruled an empire that extended thousands of miles, encompassing parts of modern-day Argentina, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. Cusco – or its proper Quechua name of Q’osqo – means navel. The city was the center of the world to the Andean peoples. The Incas ruled more than 10 million inhabitants from 1438 to 1533. The Spaniards were able to bring…

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July 3, 2014

Cusco classes

We broke up our time in Lima with a week-long trip to the Cusco area, including a journey through Peru’s Sacred Valley to visit historical sites from the time of the Incas and finishing with a day at the incomparable Machu Picchu. First we spent two days in the beautiful city of Cusco, ancient capital of the Inca Empire. We mixed visits to important sites in Cusco with a lecture on the Incas and a workshop on Andean music. This post shares our arrival and speakers.

June 26, 2014

Clases de español

During the students’ six weeks in Lima, Spanish classes meet every afternoon at the Buen Pastor church. Our creative teachers, Moises, Ana and Gretty found multiple ways to engage students and have them practice their Spanish, including reading short texts, discussing topics related to their majors, writing short skits, interviewing Peruvians and a fun afternoon of cooking to practice the imperative (commands such as, “add the sugar and stir.”) Students said the classes helped them with conversational Spanish, clarified their daily questions, taught them new vocabulary and were fun.

June 26, 2014

A dance workshop

Peru SST students were introduced to Peruvian folk dances in this favorite workshop with Pedro Farias, a professional dancer and dance instructor. Pedro showed the students videos of some of the many traditional dances from Peru’s three regions: costa, sierra y selva (coast, mountains and jungle) and explained the costumes and symbolism. Then it was time for hands-on learning – or rather feet-on. The workshop was a learning experience and intensive workout, all in one fun session.  

June 24, 2014

Classes in LIma

Weekday mornings in Lima meant gathering at la Catedral del Buen Pastor (the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd for lectures on Peru’s history and culture. Students heard from 16 guest lecturers on a wide variety of topics (they are earning credit for 5 different classes). Lecturers were Peruvians or Americans who have lived in Peru from three to 50 years. Peru SST directors Richard R. Aguirre and Judy Weaver also shared on subjects such as the Catholic Church, cultural adjustment and current events. On Wednesday we met at Casa Goshen for a time of worship, socializing and reflection that we…

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June 22, 2014

Goshen College students got a view into Peru’s ancient past with a visit to Huaca Pucllana, a complex of adobe pyramids that was once an administrative and religious center of the ancient Lima Culture people. They dominated coastal Peru from 200 to 700 A.D. The site, located in the city’s upscale Miraflores district, includes a large reconstructed pyramid of clay and adobe bricks, and surrounding structures. The tour includes scenes with figures representing the people who worked and worshipped here. A small museum includes ceramics and textiles and explanations of the significance and contributions of the Lima culture. Students toured…

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June 22, 2014

Creating Peruvian jewelry

As part of their exposure to Peruvian art and culture, Goshen students explored their creativity during a jewelry workshop led by Eliana and Ricardo Mauriola Carrasco, long-time host parents and friends of the Peru Study-Service Term program. Eliana and Ricardo make jewelry as a part-time business and sell necklaces, bracelets and earrings in Peru and overseas. Eliana and Ricardo described their Peru-grown materials, which included large and small seeds, carved and polished coconut shell and seashells, dyed in many bright colors. Most of the materials come from the Amazon rain forest. Some have special meaning. For example, some Amazon people…

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June 2, 2014

America’s oldest civilization

Goshen College students spent the afternoon of May 12 exploring the Sacred City of Caral-Supe, which is considered one of the earliest civilizations of the world and the oldest in the Americas. In recent years, radiocarbon dating has confirmed that urban life, complex agriculture and monumental architecture flourished in Caral 5,000 years ago – 2,000 years earlier than anywhere in Mesoamerica or Europe. That puts Caral on par with Mesopotamia, Egypt and China as areas that first gave rise to civilization. Peruvian archeologists call it a cultura madre; a mother culture. Caral has gained growing international recognition – including being…

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June 1, 2014

Sports fun with host families

Goshen College students spent their second Saturday in Lima playing soccer and volleyball with host family members and their friends. The spirited play took place at the municipal sports complex in the San Isidro district of Lima on a warm and gray morning. After picking teams, the students played three matches of “fulbito,” a scaled down version of soccer. Although fútbol, or soccer, is Peru’s national sport, fulbito is played more frequently, especially among children and adults because it can be played on a smaller field and with fewer players. A Peruvian invention, fulbito is played on a basketball or…

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