Fourteen students, from sophomores to seniors and from different majors including nursing, community health, integrative health, global health, and journalism, are currently participating in a study abroad program in Peru. Students participate in discussions about transcultural health and ethical giving, and experience first-hand healthcare beyond their own community.
The first two weeks of the group’s trip was in Lima, Peru where students began their coursework (courses include Healthcare Ethics, Culture and Health, and Transcultural Health), interviewed local Peruvians, visited ruins, museums, and markets, and explored this city of almost 10 million. During these two weeks, students lived in residencias where they had a house mother and housemates from all over the world.
The next (and last) two weeks of the program are in Cusco. The students introduction to the city began with visits to traditional weavers and ancient ruins in the Sacred Valley. Their first day was at very slow pace since they were moving from 200 feet above sea level in Lima to up to 12,300 feet in areas of the Sacred Valley. Prior to settling in Cusco, they took a train to Machu Picchu and spent a night in the neighboring town, Aguas Calientes. The students explored the ruins, hiked to the Sun Gate and the Inca Bridge (high viewpoints of the ruins and of the Andes), and enjoyed the magical feeling of being nestled in the Andes. They are now back in Cusco where all students are assigned to different service learning sites including clinics, hospitals, community centers, and orphanages. They have completed their first couple of days and are excited to continue learning about the Peruvian culture, healthcare, ethics, and what it means to be a responsible volunteer.