Students Experience Service Trip to Peru

Published by Brooke Lange 2 months ago on Thu, Nov 30, 2023 2:53 PM

This May, several faculty and students went on a study and service-learning tour to Peru. The trip was led by Dr. Joel Helmer, Holly Helmer, and Dr. Brian Albright. The students on the trip were Bethany Gebhardt, Macy Gebhardt, Hannah Helmer, Brynna Bruxellas, and Abby Bimler. 

 The participants on the trip went to Lima, Cusco, and the San Juan de Miraflores district. This trip had been a long time coming. The group planned to go in 2022 and had to put it off several times, because of various obstacles spanning from the coronavirus to civil unrest in the country. Fortunately, they were finally able to go this summer. Macy Gebhardt, a senior who went on the trip, believes that this might have made the trip more memorable. “Being able to go at this time with this group of people was a great experience. We were able to do some things we wouldn’t have been able to do had we gone earlier in the year like we had planned.” 

During their time there, the group did a combination of tourist and service-oriented activities. They went to Macchu Picchu, visited catacombs in Lima, and explored the Incan historical sites and beautiful scenery. They were able to visit markets in Pisac, the festivals to celebrate the patron saints in Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes, see lots of llamas and alpacas, and try Guinea pig from a stand on the side of the road. 

The group also participated in service-learning activities with the “Learning by Playing” program in the San Juan de Miraflores district. This district is one where kids are especially vulnerable to trafficking. The “Learning by Playing” program supplies children with activities that give children an opportunity to spend time around other children and stay out of danger. The first day the group helped the kids of the area with their homework. The second day they brought craft and school supplies for them to use and played games on the concrete soccer field. 

Of all of these activities, Bethany Gebhardt, a sophomore on the trip, found that she learned the most from the service-learning experience portion of the trip. “It was very meaningful to interact with these children and see their community. Even though they didn't have a lot, they still were just happy little kids.” 

Interested in discovering more about serve abroad opportunities at Concordia? Learn more here.