Recent Posts

March 27, 2014

Less than two weeks after Goshen College students departed for their service assignments, we received the heartbreaking news that Father Jeffrey L. Klaiber, a gifted historian and a great friend of the Peru Study-Service Term program, abruptly died (March 4) due to complications from heart surgery. He was 71, but had the energy, wit and intellectual curiosity of a much younger person. A Jesuit priest, Jeff lived in Peru for 38 years and was the country’s leading expert on the Catholic Church and the intersection of faith and politics. He also was an authority on Liberation Theology, the Jesuit presence…

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March 27, 2014

Farewell to Lima

The morning after the despedida, or farewell celebration, Goshen College students gathered at Casa Goshen for their final service orientation. Students participated in an exercise designed to show them what it might feel like to be poor and disadvantaged – like many people they would encounter on service. We reviewed cultural mores, health advice, academic (and behavioral) expectations and what to do in case of emergency. The students also got their service reading assignments and reminders about logistical matters. And we ended our session with reflections and prayer. For lunch, students enjoyed pachamanca, a traditional Peruvian dish of smoked chicken,…

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March 26, 2014

The time in Lima drew to a close, and it was time for the Peru Study-Service Term students to say A Dios – go with God – to their host families in Lima. So the students planned a farewell celebration or despedida – a beloved Peru SST tradition. Since television game shows are popular in Peru, the students decided to include games in the program. Families laughed as volunteers tried to knock over cups with tennis balls tied to the back of their belts, eat donuts on strings, find a small piece of candy in a pile of whipped cream or catch…

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March 25, 2014

Creating wearable art from Peru

Shortly before leaving Lima for their service assignments, Goshen students had a chance for individual creative expression during a jewelry workshop with 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 cottage business and sell necklaces, bracelets and earrings overseas. Ricardo and Eliana described their Peru-grown materials, which included large and small seeds, carved and polished coconut skin and shells, dyed in many bright colors. Most of the materials come from the Amazon rain forest. Some have special meaning. For example, some Amazon people believe the…

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March 25, 2014

Why does an artist choose one medium over another? How does an artist stay motivated enough to create beautiful art year after year? Why would an artist get involved in politics? And why would an octogenarian artist continue to work 10- or 12-hour days instead of enjoying a carefree retirement? Goshen College students got answers to those and other questions while gaining insights into the creative process during a visit to the home and art studio of Victor Delfin, Peru’s leading painter and sculptor. Delfin, 86, is considered Peru’s most accomplished artist. The youngest child in a poor family from…

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March 24, 2014

Every afternoon in Lima, students spent three hours with their Spanish teachers, Irene Arce Zavala, Ana Bracamonte Bardalez and Biviana Goto Sanchez. They belong to the Grupo de Español Inca Garcilaso, a teaching team that offers on-site Spanish classes to visitors in Lima. Irene, Ana and Bivi like to get the three classes interacting with each other and with Peruvians as much as possible. They prefer not to focus too much on levels – realizing language learning is a fluid thing – so they named the classes after Peru’s three regions: Sierra, Selva and Costa (mountains, jungle and coast). Irene,…

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March 22, 2014

Fulbito with family and friends

Goshen College students devoted one of their final Saturdays in Lima to play. Along with host family members and friends, they went to Parque Mariscal Castilla in the Lince district of Lima to play “fulbito,” a scaled down version of soccer. Fútbol, or soccer, is Peru’s national sport, but fulbito is played more frequently, especially among children and adults and regardless of their fitness level, because it can be played on a smaller field and with fewer players. A Peruvian invention, fulbito is played on a basketball or volleyball court, of artificial grass, concrete, asphalt or even dirt, called a…

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March 22, 2014

Goshen College students recently visited Villa María del Triunfo, a southern district of Lima founded 52 years ago by migrants who “invaded” the area and built homes on the coastal sands. Villa María is home to more than 360,000 people, many of whom struggle with underemployment, poverty and malnutrition. It has been estimated that one-third of the residents lack electrical service and more than one-fifth lack running water. To help relieve hunger, improve diets and provide additional income, the municipality, aided by an international non-governmental organization, has started biohuertos, or urban community gardens, for residents. We visited “Machu Picchu”, a…

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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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