Recent Posts

May 29, 2015

Peruvian Portraits

Anna’s journal is filled with the expected (written notes from lectures and field trips) but also the unexpected (sketches of many of our guest speakers).  She captured Dr. Roberto Tarazona, a director of the Peruvian affiliate of Caritas, the Catholic relief, development and social services agency. During his presentation Dr. Tarazona said that about 30 percent of Peruvians live in poverty or extreme poverty. “Poverty in Peru wears a campesino face,” he said. Another sketch is of Maria Doraliza Chavez, the president of a neighborhood garden in San Juan de Miraflores. She is working the tutelage of Señora Gregoria Flores,…

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May 28, 2015

Dancing the Marinera

Morgan shares a journal entry: It was Saturday evening. My mom had just arrived home an hour before and was relaxing with my grandma. A little after 6 we heard music playing loudly in the shared plaza of our apartment complex. We opened the door to check it out. Immediately our neighbors saw us and insisted we come down to dance. My host mom and I both love dancing, so, of course, we went down. Once we arrived we learned there was a dance instructor there who was going to teach us the marinera. This is a Peruvian dance which…

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May 27, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 As Goshen College students do at least once every semester in Peru, we drove about an hour south to contribute to the greening of the “Southern Cone” of Lima in the districts of San Juan de Miraflores and Villa Maria del Triunfo. In the fall and in the spring, we expanded gardens that were already under way, preparing for new plots adjacent to beds of lettuce, carrots, potatoes, celery, broccoli, peppers. This time we were invited to join with 20 or so families who are beginning an entire garden from…

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May 22, 2015

The Birthday Party

David shares a journal entry: It was Saturday night, and I found myself going to a birthday party with my mom, Sara. She had told me a day or two earlier that we would be going to a party, so I was prepared, or so I thought. I had attended my uncle Richard’s birthday party the night I arrived. I assumed this party would be similar: cake, loud renditions of “Happy Birthday” and “Feliz Cumpleaños,” lots of talking and perhaps some music. And, of course, what would a birthday party be without Inca Kola. I had been able to leave…

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May 22, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 To get to Caral, the oldest city in the Americas, you just drive straight north along the coast until you see a road sign for Caral. Head inland for about 12 miles and you’re there. If only the execution were as simple as the directions! We left Lima at 6:15 a.m. to beat the rush-hour crowd. Before long, we had plenty of company on the road. And no matter what, it’s a long drive to Caral, about 120 miles. Fortunately, there were some gorgeous scenes along the way, including the…

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May 18, 2015

“¡Vamos al Mercado!”

Abbie shares a journal entry: On Saturday evening my mom, Charo, informed me that we were going to the market. We walked down the street and entered the Metro, a large chain supermarket. At first I was surprised because this was not what I expected the market to be. After walking around and grumbling at the prices, we soon left without buying anything. “Now we’ll go to the market,” my mom informed me. Ahh. Apparently I was right. This was not actually the market. However, getting to the real market, Mercado de Venezuela, was easier said than done. Since it…

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May 17, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 A 10-minute walk from Casa Goshen, the home office of the SST program in Peru, is the headquarters for Manos Amigas, a Christian organization that exports handicrafts on behalf of independent artists, advocating for fair prices and tracking shifts in consumer demand for crafts. Yannina Meza, who directs Manos Amigas, or “Friendly Hands,” and who is also Kate’s host mother, was away attending a national meeting on fair trade. Her sister-in-law, Christine Meza, met us at the door. She told us that Manos Amigas works with dozens of artisan groups…

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May 11, 2015

By Karen and Duane Sherer Stoltzfus Peru SST Co-Directors, 2014-2015 In anticipation of our visit to Caral, an archaeological site that represents the oldest city in the Americas, dating to about 2600 B.C., we visited a museum that uses pottery and other artifacts to tell the history of several leading cultures of Peru over more than 5,000 years. The Larco Museum, which is privately owned, focuses on Peruvian history before the arrival of the conquistador Francisco Pizarro and the Spaniards in the 16th century. It was founded by Rafael Larco Hoyle who named it after his father. Larco Hoyle was…

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May 10, 2015

Surquillo, Lima, Peru

Irene shares a journal entry: Surquillo, Lima, Peru. It sounds like such a grand place. Maybe up a great path, ending in an open meadow with children playing with lambs. Or the location of a magnificent palace where kings and queens have been blessing their ancestors for centuries with the gift of royalty. I may have thought that yesterday, but today I think of it as home for the next six weeks. Home is no longer Amish country. It is not a place where I can play the Mennonite Game and realize I’m related to half the people in the…

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May 8, 2015

Volleyball at Dusk

Joshua shares a journal entry: “Quieres jugar vóley?” I was asked. “Vóley?” Ohhh, volleyball. Hmm. I don’t play much. But sure, I’m a good head taller than most Peruvians, so I guess I’ll have a slight advantage, right? This was at lunch over some zesty guacamole sandwiches and the richest black olives you’ve ever tasted. Four o’clock in the afternoon finally rolled around, and I was prepared to head out of the door wearing a T-shirt with my favorite hip-hop group, Hesston College shorts and . . . flip-flops. My dad politely informed me that I would probably want some…

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