Recent Posts

April 4, 2013


Jesse volunteers at a family-owned coffee farm called Fundo Almorique.  Coffee is the second-most traded product in the world, second only to petroleum in its importance as an export.  Hundreds of millions of people drink coffee each day, enjoying the aroma of a freshly-brewed cup and feeling the lift generated by a dose of caffeine.  But most of the people who enjoy the beverage know little if anything about where it comes from or how it is produced.  While coffee is consumed in large quantities in the Global North it is produced in the Global South, mostly in tropical countries…

Read more »

April 2, 2013


Jacob and Joseph are volunteering for a nonprofit organization called Ecomundos in the native village of San Miguel de Marankiari.  As the world becomes ever more modern and ever more globalized, indigenous people are pressured to acculturate, becoming like everyone else.  Many move to the cities and change both the way they dress and the foods they eat.  Their native tongue is forgotten in favor of colonial languages such as Spanish, French and English.  Their children are ashamed to identify themselves as members of an indigenous group and the customs and traditions passed on from generation to generation quickly pass…

Read more »

March 31, 2013

Role Models

Jieun and Phil are working with children in the rain forest city of San Ramon.  This small urban area is home to hundreds of impoverished families hampered by absentee fathers, alcohol addiction and an inability to make ends meet due to low wages and limited employment opportunities.  Children living under these conditions sometimes lack healthy role models, young men and women who are educated, exhibit healthy lifestyles and care about their well-being.  Children deserve to be loved by safe, responsible people that they can look up to.  If not, they run the risk of resorting to destructive or anti-social behaviors…

Read more »

March 30, 2013


Alex is volunteering at Chanchamayo Highland Products in the Selva Central (Central Rain Forest) of Peru.  Societies have always traded the goods they have in abundance for the goods that are scarce or otherwise unavailable to them.  In the developing world, the prevailing pattern has been to export raw materials — gold, copper, cotton, bananas — to earn income.  This income is then used to purchase finished products — electronics, autos, clothing — from industrialized nations.  The problem with this arrangement, from the perspective of the Global South, is that countries like Peru fail to develop their own capacity to…

Read more »

March 29, 2013


Andrew and Oscar are volunteering at Fe y Alegria (Faith and Happiness) School in Tarma.  The school serves children living in extreme poverty.  It was founded several years ago with help from the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church.  Since all the land near the center of this Andean city was already occupied, the Jesuits purchased property on a steep slope halfway up the mountain.  The location works well for several reasons:  (1) it is located at the top of the humble neighborhood where most of the students live, (2) it offers a great view of the city below and…

Read more »

March 27, 2013


Isaac and Kolton are volunteering in the classroom.  They, along with the rest of us, entered the service portion of the Peru Study Service Term with open eyes and open hearts.  We often ask our Peruvians friends and acquaintances, “How can we be of service to you and your community?”  The most common answers is, “Teach us English!”  Our native tongue has become the lingua franca in recent years, a universal language that bridges divides between people and peoples in the realms of science, education, technology, transportation, entertainment and trade.  When we travel to the provinces we always encourage those…

Read more »

March 26, 2013


Quinn is volunteering at Iglesia Evangélica Presbiteriania Emanuel (Emanuel Evangelical Presbyterian Church) of Ayacucho.  The church was planted here in the Cuchipampa (Hog Flat) neighborhood by missionaries from the U.S. Presbyterian Church several years ago.  Quinn lives and works with the pastor’s family in a building complex located on the steep western flank of the mountains that surround Ayacucho’s capital city of Huamanga.   The church serves a tightly-knit community of Andean families who migrated here in recent years due to economic hardships caused by terrorism and the post-war reality.   Most families still have close ties to their chacras…

Read more »

March 19, 2013


Cortney and Edgar are volunteering at Hogar de Niños Casa Luz (House of Light Children’s Home).  Forty-three children between the ages of one and nineteen call this place home.  Some were abandoned at birth.  Some are orphans whose parents have died.  Others know their mothers or fathers, but poverty makes it impossible for their parents to provide them with adequate food and clothing.  And so, for these and other reasons, these children have been taken in by the generous folks at Casa Luz.  Here they receive a bed to sleep in, clean clothes and three meals a day.  Casa Luz…

Read more »

March 15, 2013


Liz and Kate spend their days with little ones.   Parents are busy with work, chores and activities outside the home.  This is true all over the world, of course, in the Global North as well as the Global South.  But the pressures on parents are especially acute in the mountains of Peru, where many families live on what they earn each day.  The prayer “give us this day our daily bread” is a reality, not a metaphor.  Anyone of working age needs to devote themselves to activities that generate income.   Sadly, many parents grew up without positive role models,…

Read more »

March 13, 2013


Barrett is volunteering at a nonprofit organization that provides health care services to low-income patients.  The lifestyle of people who live in the Peruvian countryside is inherently healthy — fresh air, clean water and whole foods.  Medical care is not readily available, however, for the treatment of injuries and illnesses in remote villages or marginal neighborhoods at the edge of the region’s capital.  The government has invested in medical posts in most cities and many towns, but staff is limited, service can be slow and the facilities are often under-equipped and under-stocked.  Medicines and medical supplies need to be purchased…

Read more »

Page 23 of 48« First...10...2122232425...3040...Last »