Service in Chiclayo

Pimentel is a coastal town located in Chiclayo Province on the northern coast of Peru

Whitney and Justin are volunteering at a special needs hospital on the northern coast of Peru.  Hogar Clinica Juan de Dios offers medical treatment, physical therapy and educational programs to children diagnosed with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities.  The hospital serves twenty-six children from the Chiclayo region, a sunny coastal plain located some thirteen … Keep reading »

Goodbyes — and Hellos

Families begin to arrive for the Despedida (farewell party) -- with (from left) her host brother, Giuseppino, mother Martha, father Giuseppe and sister Antonella

The study portion of the Peru Study Service Term came to a close with a despedida (farewell party) for the Lima host families, language instructors and coordinators.  The students sang a couple of songs, performed a skit comparing the life of a student in the US to that of a student in Lima, and thanked … Keep reading »


Nestor Vergara, a psychologist with the Ministry for Women and Vulnerable Populations, lectures on problems in the marginal urban neighborhoods that form a ring around Lima

Learning comes in many forms.  Lectures by Nestor Vergara, Jerry Acosta, Maria Lopez and Father Jeff Klaiber taught us much about living conditions at the edge of Lima, life in Peru during the time of terrorism and the Catholic Church in Latin America.  Workshops with Pedro Farias, Alicia Taipe Tello, Eliana Carrasco and Senora Gregoria … Keep reading »


Gathered in the Plaza de Armas

Lima, Peru’s bustling capital, was founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro.  He intended to establish a capital accessible to Spanish ships, a place to export the gold and silver he found here as well as bring more Europeans to the region.  Pizarro built a city centered around the Plaza de Armas (the central … Keep reading »

Life on the Coast

Arriving for the first day of class with her host mother, Malena

The students have spent the past week getting to know Lima.  They have spent time with their new host families.  They have learned how to travel by bus from their family’s home to Iglesia Buen Pastor (Good Shepherd Church) where we meet each morning.  They have met a new set of lecturers, workshop leaders and … Keep reading »

Lima Families

With her host other, Edith

Lima is a lively, bustling city of 9 million people.  People come here from all over Peru in search of work, education, medical treatment or, simply, new opportunities.  We arrived here several days ago from our three-week adventure in the Andes to begin the Lima portion of our study program.  The students will spend the … Keep reading »

Machu Picchu

Trains provide the only motorized access to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu means “old mountain” in Quechua.  The greatest Inca ruler, Pachucutec, built this citadel atop a giant granite outcropping many years before the arrival of the Spanish  in 1532.  Archaeologists believe that the city provided a place for the Inca ruler and his predecessors to rest — a royal retreat center for the king … Keep reading »

Sacred Valley

Our tour begins in downtown Cusco

The Wilcamayu — Quechua for “Sacred River” — flows through one of the most beautiful and historic valleys of Peru.  We began our five-day tour in central Cusco, capital of the Inca Realm that once extended from modern day Colombia all the way south into Chile.  The Inca people referred to Cusco as the “Navel … Keep reading »

Mountains and Valleys

On the bus with our guide, Oswaldo

The Andes are a fascinating place, steeped in history and buzzing with activity.  It is commonly held that the Inca people believed in a variety of dieties, including the sun, the stars and the snow-capped mountains.  But one of our speakers, Juan Carlos Machicado, has a different perspective on Andean spirituality.  His studies of Spanish … Keep reading »

The Peasantry

View of the pass between San Jeronimo, our program headquarters, and the village of San Juan de Quihuares

We are reading a book entitled A Path of Our Own: An Andean Village and Tomorrow’s Economy of Values.  The author, Adam K. Webb, describes how more than one-third of the earth’s inhabitants live as peasants.  Subsistence farmers, they plant crops and tend animals much as their ancestors did.  While many in the Global North … Keep reading »