Recent Posts

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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February 25, 2014

Goshen College students spent a day 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 2001, radiocarbon dating 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. Caral has gained growing international recognition – including being named a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)…

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February 25, 2014

Students continued their journey through Peru’s past with a visit to Huaca Pucllana, an administrative and religious center of the ancient Lima Culture, which dominated coastal Peru from 200 to 700 A.D. The site, located in the city’s Miraflores district, includes a large reconstructed pyramid of clay and adobe bricks, and surrounding structures as well as figures representing those who worked and worshipped here. A small museum includes ceramics and textiles and explanations of the significance and contributions of the Lima culture. Goshen College students toured the site, which is three blocks from the Anglican Cathedral of the Good Shepherd…

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