Service in San Miguel

Mara with her host family: Angel, Victoria, Lady and Alfonso

Living in a foreign culture — getting to know a new host family and figuring out how to accompany the people they work with each day — is a challenge for our students during these six weeks of service.  They are stretched in new ways as they leave the comfort of the group experience that … Keep reading »

Service Begins

The region where our students will be serving for the next six weeks

This morning the students, all 21 of them, boarded a bus for the central region of Peru to begin their six-week service assignments. Three will volunteer in Tarma, a beautiful city located in the Andean highlands, teaching in a Catholic school and working with children in a program sponsored by Compassion International.  Six will live … Keep reading »

Adios, Lima

Invitation to the Farewell Party

We said goodbye to our Lima host families by inviting them to share an evening with us.  We played games and enjoyed a program of drama, dance and song. We also shared American-style refreshments prepared with delicious Peruvian ingredients — sandwiches, salads, kettle corn, cake and passion fruit juice. The students shared their gratitude for … Keep reading »

A Closer Look

Father Jeff Klaiber describes the role of the Catholic Church in Latin American politics

As we approach the end of our study time in Lima, we deepened our perspective on what it is like to live and work here by listening to speakers who have migrated here from other places and then traveling to the edge of this sprawling metropolitan area. Father Jeff Klaiber is originally from Indianapolis.  He … Keep reading »


Entering the Huaca Pucllana temple grounds

Lima — the City of the Kings — was founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro.  For almost three centuries it served as the political and economic hub of the Spanish Empire in western South America.  In 1821 Peru gained independence from the Spanish crown and Lima became the capital of a new nation.  Today over … Keep reading »

Lima Culture

First day of class at Good Shepherd Church in Lima

During our first week in Peru’s capital we began learning about local criollo culture.  Celia Vasquez, our study coordinator, described Limeno greetings, habits and cuisine.  James Plunkett, an American businessman who migrated here 48 years ago, taught us about Peruvian politics and economics.  Father Eduardo Arens spoke about Jesus’ use of humor in the gospel … Keep reading »

Lima Families

With her host mother, Chabuca, and her sister, Camila

We returned to Peru’s capital after our time of study, service and travel in the Andes and were greeted by Celia, our study coordinator, Alicia, our program assistant, and twenty-one eager host families.  We introduced the students to their new family members, shared coffee and sandwiches, and snapped photos before they departed for their new … Keep reading »

Machu Picchu


Machu Picchu is one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World,” a list that includes the Great Wall (China), Petra (Jordan), Christ the Redeemer (Brazil), Chichen Itza (Mexico), the Colosseum (Italy) and the Taj Majal (India). Scholars believe that Machu Picchu (“Old Mountain” in Quechua) was a refuge for the Inca Pachacutec, a sort … Keep reading »

The Incas

Let's go

The Inca culture is known worldwide for its epic architecture.  Temples, palaces and fortresses were assembled from massive stones cut from nearby quarries and fitted together like a puzzle.  We visited two classic examples:  Sacsayhuaman and Ollantaytambo. Sacsayhuaman is a huge complex perched on a hill overlooking the city of Cusco, the Inca’s capital.  The … Keep reading »

A Changing World

Waiting for the bus

Our theme this semester is, “A Changing World; A Changing Peru”.   In order to appreciate where Peru is going, we need to know where it has been.   If we had a time machine we could travel back to the era before the Spanish Conquest to see how Andean people lived, worked and played before the … Keep reading »