Standing in line at Lima's Jorge Chavez Airport

Two-thirty in the morning — it’s time to board the bus for the airport.  The streets are quiet.  The students are thoughtful.  Three months have gone so quickly.  But their arrival in January seems so long ago. We got checked in for the flight, said our goodbyes and took one last group photo.  Travel well! … Keep reading »

Retreat at Kauai

Dana gives her presentation on medicinal plants...

We finished our semester with a three-day trip to the Scripture Union Retreat Center along the coast south of Lima.  This was an opportunity to reunite after six weeks of service, sharing stories, experiences and research results from final projects.  The titles of the projects reveal the diversity of experience over the last month and … Keep reading »

Service in Huaraz

View of the Cordillera Blanca (White Range)

Four students served in Huaraz.  At 3,052 meters (over 10,000 feet) above sea level, this Andean city lures people from all over the world in search of adventure.  Snow-covered peaks are visible above the green foothills.  Mornings are warm and sunny.  Each afternoon brings life-giving rain. A Christian physician named Maria Jesus Hernandez visited two … Keep reading »

Service in the Rain Forest

Niles with Highland Products founder Jose Jorge

Seven students are serving in the upper rain forest region known as Chanchamayo.  The cities of La Merced and San Ramon are located on the eastern flanks of the Andes mountains.  At about 2,000 feet above sea level, the temperatures are warm, the hills are heavily-forested and each day brings a mix of sun and … Keep reading »

Service on the Coast

Grace with her host family -- Estrellita, Marcos, Jefferson and Bertha

Peru’s north coast is sunny and hot this time of year.  Flocks of tourists travel here from Lima to vacation on the northern beaches.  Six students from our group traveled here to volunteer their time at a local church, a center for disabled children and a relatively unknown natural area. Grace and Hannah are living … Keep reading »

Service in Ayacucho

Jeffrey with his host family

Our first service visit was to the city of Ayacucho, an historical city situated in a verdant valley 9,000 feet above sea level.  Ayacucho has plenty of historical significance — the last battle in the war of independence against Spain was fought here.  More than a century later, the Shining Path guerilla movement got its … Keep reading »

Farewell to our Hosts in Lima

Preparing a Thank You card for her host family

At the end of our study time in Lima we throw a going-away party called the despedida.  In preparation for this event, each student designed a thank you card for their host family using water colors or colored pencils.  They practiced their speeches, skits and songs.  They ate seven entire pollos a la brasa (rotisserie … Keep reading »

Animals and Art

Arrival at the ranch, a.k.a. Instituto de Educacion Superior Tecnologico Privado

Peru is known in equestrian circles around the world for its caballos de paso, or riding horses.  These creatures are bred and trained for an extremely smooth ride.  We visited a ranch in Lurin for barbecued chicken and a chance to meet these animals up close.  Actually, “ranch” is an understatement. The Instituto de Educación … Keep reading »

Learn, Work, Play

Nestor Vergara describes the reality of life in marginal neightborhoods outside Lima

There is so much to learn about Peru.  Nestor Vergara taught us about the social and economic realities of life in the marginal areas that surround Lima.  He moved here from the rain forest city of Iquitos to pursue a college degree and explained how he and his wife built their home — from straw … Keep reading »

Another Side of Lima

Gathered together in Alicia's home in Villa Maria

Villa Maria is an hour’s bus drive south of Miraflores, where we have our lectures, workshops and Spanish classes.  It’s often referred to as a pueblo joven, or young city, because it didn’t exist fifty years ago.  In fact, most of the populated areas in the “cones” that occupy Lima’s periphery were bare hillsides in … Keep reading »