Nick, Jen, Bobby, Ming and Evan are living and serving in Ayacucho, a region in the south central Andes. The city of Ayacucho, also known as Huamanga, is the capital of the region and is famous for its 33 churches, as well as its elaborate Holy Week celebrations which attract thousands of visitors from across Perú each year. It is also one of the poorest regions of Perú and was one of the hardest hit by the Shining Path insurgency in the 1980s. Nick, Jen and Bobby live within the city limits of Huamanga, and Ming and Evan live about 45 minutes away, in the smaller town of Quinua.
Nick and Jen work in the laboratory at a medical clinic,
Clínica de la Cooperativa de San Cristóbal de Huamanga. Bobby is working at another clinic, Centro de Salud Santa María Magdalena.
Evan and Ming are living with artisan families in the town of Quinua. Quinua is well-known for its distinctive art and most residents earn their livelihood through the sale of their work. Ming is assisting in her families’ ceramic workshop and restaurant. Evan is working at the
CLAS Centro de Salud de Quinua, a public health post.
Nick and Jen point out the centrifuge they use to separate blood into plasma and hemoglobin.
Lab technician Luz supervises the work of Jen and Nick in the laboratory of Clínica San Cristóbal de Huamanga
Microscopic analysis of bacteria is one of Jen and Nick’s duties.
Nick draws out a blood sample. They test for various things including glucose, hemoglobin and cholesterol levels.
Nick poses with mom Julia, dad Samuel, sister Jessenia, and visiting uncle Caleb.
A Kodak moment with Nick and Jessenia
A devilish-looking Nick devours his steaming bowl of Caldo de Gallina, perfect on a cold Ayacucho evening.
Gotta get those journals written…
Jen bears the bright morning sun of the sierra with two of her three sisters, Jessi and Catherin.
No shortage of stuffed animals for Jen
It’s breakfast time in the Ayala household—Ayacuchan bread called “chapla,” and seasonal sweet potatoes called “oca.”
Bobby poses outside his clinic with social worker and supervisor Yesenia.
Bobby works closely with head nurse Chris in the areas of respiratory medicine, cardiology, and audiology (shown here). Bobby also helps take patients’ vitals.
It’s Scott’s lucky day; he gets a free hearing test by Bobby!
Bobby poses with mom Elisabeth, dad Dionisio, and the blue sky of Ayacucho. Missing from the photo: 5 siblings, 1 cousin and a yard full of animals.
Bobby shows us the not-too-shabby view outside of his bedroom.
Willy enjoys one of Bobby’s favorite spots at his house: the family hammock!
Evan readies himself for a day at the CLAS Centro de Salud, the main health provider for Quinua.
Evan works with biologist/technician Jonatan.
Evan enters results from the many tests run by the clinic including those for cholesterol, pregnancy and tuberculosis.
Evan shows off some of the many blood samples that he helps test every day.
Evan stands with host dad Marino, brother Kevin, sister Sara and pet parrot, Huejkro.
Evan’s mom Norma was hard at work in one of the family’s fields, harvesting lima beans, but stopped for this pic.
These are a few of the colorful ceramics for sale at the galleries of Marino and Maximo Límaco, host fathers for Evan and Ming.
Ming adds detail to her latest painting project.
Ming’s host dad and art teacher, Máximo, explains the process used to make the clay objects sold at his workshop.
Ming proudly shows one of the churches she helped paint.
Teacher and student pose for a photo.
Ming’s mom Ana María cooks up part of today’s lunch: pork chicharrones. Along with the ceramic workshop, Ming’s family operates a restaurant on the premises.
Along with painting ceramics, Ming helps serve food in the family restaurant. Here she poses with her mom, brother, and three volunteers.
Ming has found her community in Quinua, which includes her immediate Peruvian family and her extended family of foreign volunteers, including Jasmine and Matias from Argentina.
Evan and Ming on top of “workout hill”, a place that Evan frequents to do exercise.
Ming and Evan ride horses for the first and second time in their lives (!), respectively.
The Pampas of Quinua was the site of the famous Battle of Ayacucho, where Peruvians (and all South Americans) finally won independence from Spain.
The SST Ayacuchanos enjoy an evening meal at Vía Vía.
It’s group selfie time with our resident photographer, Ming.
The visit ends as it began; with a beautiful view of the Plaza de Armas of Ayacucho.