Recent Posts

March 21, 2014

Like any modern country, Peru has a wide range of radio and television companies. Only one, however, combines the accuracy and reliability of National Public Radio, the immediacy and reach of CNN and the variety of satellite radio stations. Grupo Radio Programas del Peru (RPP) is a broadcasting giant founded in 1963 by Manuel Delgado Parker. Operating from a sleek skyscraper in the San Isidro district of Lima, RPP has more radio coverage – its stations reach 97 percent of the country – than any radio network in Peru. Its RPP TV news channel can be seen through most of…

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March 20, 2014

After Goshen College students start to speak Spanish, adjust to their host families, learn how to navigate Lima’s chaotic bus system and start to enjoy living in Peru, they increasingly ask one question of their Study-Service Term leaders: “What’s my service assignment and where will it be?” It’s a natural question because service is an essential component of SST and as important as classroom learning, language instruction and intercultural exploration. Service also can be the most challenging and rewarding part of the SST experience. Students get the opportunity to spend six week working for a worthwhile organization and living with…

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March 20, 2014

Goshen College students recently got the opportunity to play a war strategy game designed to entertain, educate and foster peace and understanding among the people of Peru, Chile and Bolivia. Andrés Francisco Paredes Salgado, a 35-year-old Peruvian with a passion for writing, history, political science and gaming, invented the complex board game and introduced it to Goshen students. The goal of “Guerra en el Pacifico” (War in the Pacific) is to defeat the enemy, but it’s not the usual board game based on a U.S., European, or make-believe war. It is a game based on the War of the Pacific,…

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March 20, 2014

Learning in Lima

While in Lima, Goshen College students benefitted from Spanish language instruction four days a week, extensive reading assignments and lectures on such topics as history, politics, health care, social issues, the environment, music and art. Students heard from 16 guest lecturers and workshop presenters. Most lecturers were Peruvians along with a few Americans who have lived in Peru from two to 50 years. Peru SST Co-Directors Richard R. Aguirre and Judy Weaver also lectured on such subjects as the Catholic Church, cultural adjustment, current events, Peru’s cuisine and the War of the Pacific. Classes were held four days a week…

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March 18, 2014

A thunderstorm seemed likely to occur the day we awakened to visit Machu Picchu, the most famous settlement of the Inca civilization. Clouds and mist hovered practically at ground level and temperatures stayed low. We worried that rain might envelop the world-famous site, obscuring views and making stone trails too slippery to safely climb. Still, we arose early, ate a hearty breakfast and prepared for our visit. We filled our daypacks with water bottles and snacks and headed for the bus that takes tourists up a road of hairpin curves to Macho Picchu, which at an elevation of about 8,000…

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March 17, 2014

The Peru SST group spent two days exploring Peru’s Sacred Valley with help from Oswaldo Palomino Alvarado, an experienced guide proud of his indigenous heritage. We began our tour at Chinchero, where Inca royalty once sat on stone thrones to observe festivals and gazed upon terraced hillsides. Framed by the lush Vilcanota Mountains, Chincero retains the charm of a small village and features both Inca ruins and colonial structures. Students learned how artisans dye yarn for alpaca weavings, enjoyed a lunch of Peruvian specialties and visited a colorful Sunday market. Afterward, students visited Moray, an ancient agricultural laboratory with stunning…

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March 2, 2014

Exploring the Cusco area

The Peru SST group spent a stormy day exploring the Cusco area with the help of our guide, Abrahan Quispe Corrales. Cusco was the center of the Inca empire when the Spaniards arrived in 1526; in fact the Quechua name Q’osqo means navel – the navel of the known world, to the people of the Andes. At that time, the Inca realm extended thousands of miles, encompassing parts of modern-day Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. Inca leaders ruled over an estimated 10 million inhabitants, from 1438 to 1533. The empire fell apart due to civil war, European illnesses…

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March 1, 2014

During their journey to Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, Goshen College students viewed soaring mountain peaks, lush valleys, magnificent rock formations and surging rivers. They learned about the Spanish conquest of the Inca, the importance of arts and culture and contemporary issues facing Peru. One typically busy day, they experienced fascinating aspects of life in the Andes through a tour of Inca ruins, a meal of cuy (guinea pig) and participation in a ceremony led by a shaman with ancestral ties to indigenous spirituality. Our first stop of the day was Tipón, a 500-acre complex of hillside terraces,…

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February 27, 2014

After reading about the Incas and the arrival of the Spaniards in Peru in 1526, the Goshen students had the exciting opportunity to travel to the Inca’s ancient capital of Q’osqo (the navel of the world), or Cusco, as it is known today. Cusco is situated in the Andes at an elevation of about 11,000 feet. We spent the first afternoon and evening resting and adjusting to the altitude. After a good night’s rest, we had three presentations. Amadeo Valer Farfán, an archaeology professor and professional guide, told us about the origins of Peru and Inca legends and cosmology. Agronomy…

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February 26, 2014

The Peru SST unit jumped, wiggled, twisted and sweated their way through a spirited workshop on traditional dances of Peru. Their instructors were Pedro Farias and his partner, Lisette Alcántara, enthusiastic and talented dancers who have performed with many professional groups. Using videos, music and patient step-by-step instruction, Pedro introduced students to dances from several regions of Peru. Pedro provided the historical background and context about each, including the meaning behind the dancers, the costumes worn and the major physical movements required. Pedro and Lisette demonstrated each dance’s moves, with all manner of vigorous jumps and rapid body contortions. The…

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