Service Learning in Canto Grande, Lima, Peru
Doing a service learning in Peru through Campus Ministry's International Immersion was a life altering experience. I got to live simply and serve with others. One of the main components of the program was poverty and education. We worked at collegio Fe y Alegría, at a school for students with disabilities, and taught english at a chapel in the afternoons. Through all of this we saw a lot of poverty and issues of the Peruvian political and educational system were very evident. Most importantly, however, I witnessed the value of community. It was amazing to see how far the works of Holy Cross extend and the way we are all connected. The people we worked with were extremely welcoming and incredibly open to us; they opened their hearts to us and touched ours forever.
From this experience I now cary with me:
- the simplicity of life in Peru.
- the beauty of the faith we share together though many miles and borders.
- awareness of the choices we make and how those can affect other areas.
- the ability to be more present with people.
- understanding of the power of education and the difference it can make.
- love for my fellow world citizens made in God's image.
- an appreciation for my bilingual skills.
- understanding of human need.
I've always believed that you take more from service than you give. It only makes you learn much more about yourself. As Mahatma Ghandi once said, "the only way to find yourself is to loose yourself in the service of others." My advice is, don't look on the outside for what you already have inside