Homeward bound


The summer Peru Study-Service Term concluded this morning with a pre-dawn bus ride to Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport for 13 students. The remaining three are heading on to further travel in South and Central America before returning home. For the Gary family, this is the end of Peru SST, too. We have led the … Keep reading »

Together again: our closing retreat


We spent our last weekend in Peru on the beach at the Union Biblica retreat center, about an hour and a half south of Lima. It was a beautiful place to reflect on the past three months and to prepare for our homecoming. We were delighted to have the group together once again after spending … Keep reading »

Final projects


Our retreat included presentations from each student on their final project. We heard about a wide range of topics related to Peru: Translational problems and patient care in the medical mission setting Disability services in Chimbote Single mothers and their children in Chimbote Multilingual education in Peru The effects of poverty on education in Peru … Keep reading »

Service in Ayacucho

with host sister

Ayacucho is one of Peru’s most historically significant places. During the 6th century A.D., when the Wari civilization ruled much of Peru, its capital was located just outside of what is now Ayacucho. Twelve hundred years later, in 1824, Peru’s struggle for independence from Spain ended in victory with the Battle of Ayacucho. And it … Keep reading »

Service in Tarma

the garden behind Fe y Alegria school

Tucked in the mountains and surrounded by fields of flowers, Tarma is known as the “Pearl of the Andes.” That moniker may be a little grandiose for this unassuming town of about 52,000 residents, but it certainly communicates the warmth and welcoming nature of this central highlands town. Three SSTers, Kayla, Caleb, and Mara, are … Keep reading »

Service in Chanchamayo


This time of year—winter—Limeños who tire of cold, overcast, drizzly weather can find some sun in the Peruvian jungle, or selva. The closest point, La Merced, is an eight-hour bus trip along steep, winding roads. On the journey there, travelers get a view of Peru’s three regions: the arid coast, the spectacular mountains, and the … Keep reading »

service in chimbote

at work

The coastal city of Chimbote is not for the faint of heart: According to the Pan American Health Organization, at least 45 percent of the city’s residents live in conditions of extreme poverty. The international aid organization CARE reports that the average Chimbotano only earns about $300 each year, and the Worldwatch Institute reports that … Keep reading »

Ready for service

The Ayacucho crowd

From planting trees to performing ultrasounds to practicing English with students, the Peru SSTers jumped right in to the service portion of the semester. They just wrapped up week #2 on service and have gracefully transitioned into their new environments, each student getting to know a new host family, a new home, a new town, … Keep reading »

So long, farewell…

bocadillos (snacks) for the evening

To mark the end of the first half of the semester—and the completion of the students’ time in Lima—we gathered at the Good Shepherd Cathedral hall on Friday night to celebrate with our host families, language professors, coordinators, and other friends of the program. The students put together an impressive evening of entertainment, including music … Keep reading »

Thanksgiving in Peru

Arriving in Villa Maria

Overheard one morning last week: a conversation between SSTers about the food from home they were missing the most. Barbecue topped the list for a couple of students. Fortunately for all of us (but maybe especially for them) our lunch plans that day involved heading south to the district of Villa Maria, where Alicia and … Keep reading »