Nine of the 11 Peru SSTers departed tonight from Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport–first to Atlanta, and then on to Chicago O’Hare (the remaining two leave tomorrow for travel in Bolivia). ¡Vaya con Dios, amigos!

last days in Peru


After six weeks of service the SSTers said goodbye to their host families and work in Cusco, Huaraz, San Ramon, La Merced, and Azulís and returned to Lima for the final exam. A few hours later we headed south on the Pan-American Highway to Kawai, a retreat center on the Pacific Ocean about an hour … Keep reading »

service in cusco

with host parents

Kim, Erin, and Mike have been in the Cusco region for their service. They got to know the area (and even their host families) back in September, when the whole SST group visited Machu Picchu. All three were happy to return to this beautiful part of Peru and have the opportunity to go deeper into … Keep reading »

Service in Azulis


It’s a rustic six weeks of service for SSTers Nate and Serena, who are living about as far off the grid (no phone, no Internet, no electricity, no road access) as they can in Azulis, a community of about 30 Yanesha families in the department of Pasco. Azulis is about a 2-hour drive from Villa … Keep reading »

Service in Chanchamayo


The road from Lima to La Merced is winding and steep and long, and during the 189-mile journey, travelers get a view of Peru’s three regions: the arid coast, the imposing mountains, and the lush, green jungle. La Merced (pop. approx. 50,000) is the provincial capital of the Chanchamayo region, which is blessed with warm … Keep reading »

Service in Huaraz

the city of Huaraz

Our travel schedule has kept us from posting lately, so apologies for the delayed update. Kevin, Heather, and sus hijos visited Huaraz at the end of October to check in with Lauren, Derek, and Paul, who are doing service in this mountain community. Huaraz (pop. 120,000) is about 260 miles from Lima and is the … Keep reading »


As I went down to the river

The SSTers’ farewell to Lima was, as several commented, “sappy”—a mix of sad and happy. Sad to say goodbye to our gracious host families here, our Goshen friends, an exciting city, and the first half of our semester in Peru–but happy to go explore new places, meet new people, and find out what the “service” … Keep reading »

Kids, vegetables, and garbage in Villa Maria

Visiting Jesus Mi Buen Pastor preschool

Our visit to the district of Villa Maria del Triunfo in southern Lima showed us what a pueblo jóven looks like as it grows up. The area, which was founded almost 50 years ago, is now home to approximately 360,000 people, many of whom struggle with underemployment and poverty. Our first stop was Jesus Mi … Keep reading »

Villa el salvador

Corpusa (with her children) tells us about her neighborhood

Just 50 years ago, Lima’s population was close to 1 million. Today the greater metro area is approximately 8.5 million, or nearly one in three Peruvians. The stories behind that spectacular growth are sometimes tragic: earthquakes and floods that decimated communities drove people into Lima, as did the terrorism perpetrated by the Shining Path and … Keep reading »

Food fest!

ají and choclo

Even if the SSTers were able to try a different Peruvian dish for each breakfast, lunch, and dinner of their semester here, they’d still miss many of the country’s hundreds of traditional offerings. Peru is known in culinary circles for its tasty diversity, and gastronomic tours here have been gaining in popularity. We recently were … Keep reading »