Located along the Pacific Ocean on the Western Coast of South America, with the Andes Mountains running throughout, the Amazon rainforest within, desert blanketing the coast and a wealthy capital surrounded by shantytowns, Perú is a country of contrasts.
The Inca named Perú, the land of four quarters, because of its Amazon jungle, high Andean mountains, coastal deserts, and islands teaming with bird life. Modern archeologists added a fifth world – Lima, the capital brimming with 8 million people in the desert.
In the morning you study Spanish with a private language teacher. In groups of 5-10, language practice challenges you to improve your speaking ability, while afternoons exploring Lima and evenings with your host family provide an opportunity to practice.
In the afternoon, seminars explore the vibrant Incan and pre-Incan history, the 1980s civil war fought against the revolutionary group, the Shining Path, as well as lectures on the indigenous movement to Lima, and the success of the women’s movement in Perú.
The classroom expands outward, with visits to Callejon de Huaylas in the highlands, the shantytowns of Villa Salvador and Pamplona, and explore the catacombs of the Catedral de San Francisco in Lima.
During the second six weeks, you will experience new elements of Perúvian culture, moving in with a new host family and engaging in daily service.
Service assignments range from volunteering with clinics and hospitals in the Amazon to working in schools with children, volunteering at a Quechua women’s weaving cooperative, or working with a nonprofit such as Food for the Hungry, World Vision, or Habitat for Humanity.