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 Hauyruro seed, with its black and red ying-yang pattern, brings good luck.
With patient instruction, the students spent a morning making beautiful necklaces and bracelets for family members, friends and themselves. After choosing their materials and picking out their favorite colors, they strung the beads through colored thread and learned how to space them with knots and braiding. Eliana and Ricardo hopped from table to table, guiding the students through the steps.
The students were pleased with their creative efforts – as their smiles clearly indicated.