Recent Posts

June 1, 2014

On May 9, the Peru SST Summer unit visited Puente Piedra (Stone Bridge), a district of more than 230,000 people in the northern area of Lima. Although the district was founded in 1927, it also is home to tens of thousands of poor people who in recent decades have settled on rocky hillsides and live in wooden shacks with only basic services. To learn about the lives of such people, we visited Misión San Andrés Santísima Cruz, an Anglican church mission founded and led by Pastor Benjamin Salas Aguirre and his spouse, Livia Achahuanco. Besides the difficult work clearing rocks…

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May 29, 2014

Cajón lessons from a master

Goshen College students participated in a truly interactive workshop earlier this month by trying out a versatile musical instrument and a unique form of dance. They also received a brief overview of Afro-Peruvian history, to put the art forms into context. Their teacher was Camilo Ballumbrosio, a phenomenal Afro-Peruvian percussionist known throughout Peru and among world music fans in the Europe and the United States. Ballumbrosio’s ancestors were brought to Peru as slaves from Africa to work on cotton and sugar plantations on the Peruvian coast. His family is from El Carmen in the coastal Chincha Province and his father,…

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May 18, 2014

Goshen College students got a crash course in the history of Lima by touring the historic downtown district, better known as “El Centro de Lima.” The students got a top to bottom tour of the City of Kings – so named by its founder, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro – by touring the highest point downtown as well as underground catacombs that house the remains of thousands of Limeños. They also toured a riverfront park, watched the changing of the guard at the Presidential Palace, had lunch at a downtown landmark, visited a monastery and a cathedral and had drinks…

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May 12, 2014

Getting oriented to Peru SST

The Peru Study-Service Term group spent their first night in the Cirque Hostel, just a few blocks from Casa Goshen in the San Isidro district of Lima. Luckily the hostel did not live up to its name and was quiet and peaceful. The students reported getting a good night’s sleep and were ready to go for a full day of orientation on May 1, their first full day in Peru. The morning included introductions, worship time and working through the orientation handbook with Peru SST Co-Directors Judy Weaver and Richard R. Aguirre. At lunch time, we strolled to a beachside…

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May 11, 2014

For the Moms

Mother’s Day in Peru is a big family day; “like Christmas,” according to our Lima friends. Today stores were closed and the parks and restaurants were full of people. You could see families out for a stroll, dads barbecuing on patios and kids running around. The Peru SSTers spent the day with their host families, sharing an experience of family life and love. Peruvians have been planning for Mother’s Day for a couple of weeks. There have been huge Mother’s Day sales, of course, with flowers, chocolates and cards on display. A recent article in Lima’s biggest newspaper included quotes…

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May 10, 2014

Meeting the host families

Goshen students met their Lima host families on May 2 after a full day of orientation, an enjoyable tour of downtown and two nights in the Cirque Hostel. The students prepared for the important meetings by reviewing information about their families, including the locations of their homes, and studying (and practicing) Peruvian greetings and farewells. Parents began arriving soon after the bus delivered us to the Buen Pastor Church. Students quickly gathered their belongings, posed for quick photos and then departed into the autumn dusk. As the remaining students waited for their families in the main hall of Anglican Cathedral…

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May 1, 2014

Goshen College students have arrived in Peru – tired, excited and still smiling. United Airlines Flight 1095 arrived just two minutes late from Newark, N.J. Their 169-passenger Boeing 757-200 jet touched down at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima at 9:07 p.m. Wednesday night (April 30). The 18 students moved through customs and immigration in less than an hour and were greeted by SST co-leaders Richard R. Aguirre and Judy Weaver and Celia Vasquez, our Lima study coordinator. After retrieving a student immunization accidentally left behind at a customs station, the group gathered in a circle and SST Co-Director Aguirre…

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May 1, 2014

While much of Peru (and Goshen slept), the 18 students comprising the Goshen College Peru Study-Service Term unit for Spring 2014 said goodbye to family members and friends and began their journey to Lima, Peru on Wednesday, April 30. There were smiles of excitement but also tears as a crowd gathered in the Union building to bid farewell to students headed to both Peru and Nicaragua. Goshen College Director of International Education Tom Meyers said the crowd was large, considering that it was 4 a.m., and that all were in good spirits. Best of all, the bus departed on time,…

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April 29, 2014

The 15 students who made up the Peru Study-Service Term unit for Spring 2014 came from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio and Oregon. Their majors included accounting, biology, business, education, environmental science, history, mathematics and social work. The students left for SST on Jan. 8, during what turned out to be Goshen’s snowiest winter in recorded history. They arrived back on campus April 7, just in time for more snow. In Peru, however, the students arrived in coastal Lima amidst a hot summer and left just as the clouds and fog were becoming more frequent visitors, signaling the arrival of…

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April 8, 2014

What joy! Home again at last!

Members of Goshen College’s Peru Study-Service Term unit for Spring 2014 arrived back in the United States on Monday. One student, Malaina, left the group in Houston, Texas – the group’s point of entry to the United States – and traveled on to join her parents visiting Florida. Two other students, April and Derek, left the group in Chicago. The remaining 12 students arrived in Goshen Monday evening – 24 hours after starting their journey home in Lima. Students enjoyed a joyous welcome from family members and friends. Aimee, Caleb, Dean, Gina, Gretchen, Jackson, Jake, Jonathan, Maria, Natalie, Neal and Thomas…

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