An early airplane flown here in Peru during the advent of the aviation era

The students boarded a Peruvian bus one last time to travel from our home, Casa Goshen, to Lima’s Jorge Chavez Airport.  They checked in their luggage, received their boarding passes and posed for one last group photo.  They received their last minute instructions — first go through security, then immigration, then, if you like chocolate, … Keep reading »


The retreat featured student research presentations -- this presentation by Nikita was entitled "Stories of Women in Ayacucho"

The semester ended with a final retreat in Kauai, a conference center located on the Pacific Coast two hours south of Lima.  This is winter in the southern hemisphere and the weather is cloudy and cold.  No matter — whether hot or cold, sunny or overcast, the view is immense, the ocean timeless and the … Keep reading »

Service in Oxapampa

Welcome to Oxapampa

Jessica and Cara’s service assignment is in Oxapampa.  This charming town of 10,000 inhabitants is sometimes called “Little Switzerland.”  An immigrant population from Austria and Germany settled here in the late 19th century and the food, architecture and certain aspects of the local culture have a distinct European flavor.  At 1.800 meters (5,905 feet) above … Keep reading »

Service in Marankiari

San Miguel de Marankiari sits on a hillside far above the Perene River

Petey and Clayton are serving in an indigenous community perched on a hillside far above the Perene River valley.  San Miguel de Marankiari is home to several dozen native Ashaninka families, most of whom are descended from a common great-great-grandfather.  The Ashaninka people are quickly becoming westernized due to forces outside their control.  Ecomundos, a … Keep reading »

Service in Chanchamayo

Welcome to the rain forest

Philip, Elizabeth and Jenna are serving in the province of Chanchamayo.  This is the gateway to the selva central, Peru’s central rain forest.  It is the dry season in the jungle, but there is still enough rain to keep the surrounding hillsides lush and green.  The city where the students volunteer, San Ramon, is situated … Keep reading »

Service in Tarma

"Welcome to the Rural Community of Vista Hermosa (Beautiful View)"

Megan, Luke and Dan are volunteering in Tarma, the “Pearl of the Andes.”  Also known as the City of Flowers, Tarma is situated in a protected valley on the eastern flank of the highest mountains in the western hemisphere.  The sunny climate is conducive to agriculture and flowers are exported to Lima and other markets … Keep reading »

Service in Cuchipampa

Cuchipampa ("Hog Flats") is a newly-constructed human settlement situated on a slope overlooking the capital city of Ayacucho department

Emily volunteers at a Christian primary school perched on a hillside far above the city of Huamanga.  The neighborhood of Cuchipampa, “Hog Flats” in the local dialect of Quechua, was recently settled by migrants from the countryside of Ayacucho.  Most of the streets are still unpaved and the houses are in various states of construction.  … Keep reading »

Service in Huamanga

The cathedral on the main plaza

Kelly, Nikita and Mary are volunteering in the bustling capital of Ayacucho departmento (state).  San Juan de la Frontera de Huamanga, or simply Huamanga, is home to 170,000 people.  The city lies in a protected valley some 2,746 meters (9,009 feet) above sea level.  Known as the “City of Churches,” Huamanga was founded in 1540 … Keep reading »

Service in San Juan Bautista

San Juan Bautista is located on the outskirts of Ayacucho's regional capital

Stephen, Michael and Anna are teaching in schools in a humble sector of the capital of the Departamento de Ayacucho (Ayacucho state).  The district of San Juan Bautista, named after John the Baptist, is situated on the southeast side of the city and is home to over 38,000 people.  At 2,734 meters (8,969 feet) above … Keep reading »

Service in Huanta

Entering the city of Huanta -- Blue skies and rugged mountains frame the city

Hannah and Kendall are serving in the city of Huanta:  Population = 84,000, Elevation = 2,624 meters (8,609 feet) above sea level.  The valley where Huanta is situated is unusually green, featuring a wide variety of vegetation and earning it the nickname “Emerald of the Andes.”  The climate is sunny and dry, with cool mornings … Keep reading »