Students Reflect on Their Service Experiences in Peru

Learn more about the Service Learning and Language Immersion Program in Peru, co-sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement, the Master’s of Public Administration Department in the College of Community and Public Affairs, and the Office of International Programs.

Make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter and our blog to learn about projects, programs and other opportunities to get engaged and make a difference.  

Corazoñ de Dahlia

Corazon de Dahlia is an organization which collaborates with Peruvian communities to provide children and families with opportunities for social and academic enrichment, emphasizing respect for the people and land around them. Binghamton University students spent three-days teaching, playing, and making friends with children at Corazon de Dahlia’s after school program for underprivileged youth located in Saylla. To learn more about the Student Association chartered Corazon de Dahlia student group, contact them at: corazondedahlia@binghamtonsa.org 

“Something that truly surprised me was the distance that a lot of the children traveled to get there. Many traveled about an hour walking. That showed how committed the children were to being there…The experience at this organization was truly amazing and it seems that they are truly making a difference in these children's lives.” - Grisel Nodarse
“I most enjoyed just playing with the kids--fútbol, coloring, and reading books. The kids seemed so excited to read, it was great. All of them loved it; it wasn't a chore to them, they honestly loved it. Hopefully I can bring some of that love for education back with me to the States.” - Victoria Anderson
"The children were extremely polite and many of them greeted us with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.” - Emilia Souza

“I was very impressed with the structure of the after school program. They had set days and times for everything and it seemed to work very well for them. The kids were all well-mannered and showed a lot of respect for their teachers. I could tell that the program meant a lot to not only the kids, but the teachers as well. They clearly had very pure intentions and enjoyed helping the children.” - Bridget Baker

“The last day proved that a lot can be accomplished in a short period of time. Many of the children showed their gratitude by making short speeches, playing instruments, and singing for us. The children may not remember us a long time from now, but we definitely made them happy while we were there and that is something we can take with us.”  - Emma Lecarie

El Comedor

Binghamton University students re-built a community kitchen!

It was really exciting to tear down the old kitchen and be able to start from scratch and rebuild for Maria and the other women who work there...The people were extremely welcoming and were so thankful for the work that we did for them.” - Emma Lecarie
“I found the experience rewarding because not only were we helping them, but they were teaching us. That sort of relationship creates more of a partnership and is what I think service learning and volunteering is all about.” - Bridget Baker
“…When our Binghamton group arrived at the site, I noticed all of the workers at ‘el comedor’ were women. I was even more surprised when I witnessed all the construction work done on the kitchen performed by women!...I would like to see how these women progress in the future and examine the positive effects their efforts have on the community.” - Mary Rood

“Doña Maria and the rest of the ladies were extremely inspiring, they were all very self sufficient and independent, which they pushed us to be as well...The experience here was one that I will cherish for a lifetime, I learned so much from the ladies and I hope that we were able to truly help them.” - Grisel Nodarse

“Throughout the project, what really stood out was the community unity and togetherness, and willingness to help. This small comedor was such a huge contribution to so many families' lives- as they may now be able to afford a large meal for their families at a bare minimum price. I also enjoyed our group's collaboration with the Peruvians during the work days.”-  Alexandra M Danyluk

“It was empowering to see the organization since it is entirely women-led and it is being effective in the community. Being there was amazing because we were able to accomplish a lot and get a glimpse of Peru from a different perspective than just walking around Cusco or from Corazoñ de Dahlia. Every day they offered us food, so we were able to experience firsthand the work they were doing...I am really proud of the work we did because it was very tangible and we could tell we were a help to them. - Christina Rose

Abre Puertas

Abre Puertas is an American-run organizations, which was created to give children a place to receive support and help after school. 

“I thought it was awesome to see an American woman come to such a small area like Qoya and really reach out and help the kids of the community. I could tell how much the project meant to her, especially because she does not even get paid to do it. Just knowing she is making a difference in their lives is the only reward she receives, but that is enough for her, and that is so amazing.” -  Bridget Baker

“What amazed me about Abre Puertas is that the parents do not have to sign their children up, but rather many of the children decide to come on their own. This definitely portrays the type of children that live in the community.” - Emma Lecarie

“The kids are great, but I can see how much work it is for Ellyn. Those kids adore the center and Ellyn is so enthusiastic for them to have a space they can call their own, it’s so inspiring. It started making me wonder about starting up a center somewhere abroad. I wonder if I have the stamina to take on such a huge task.”- Victoria Anderson
“From the offset, Abre Puertas truly did hold their doors wide open for us…This young organization seems to be growing every day, and I really hope that the new teen hangout room we have created will have a positive impact. I also hope that in the future, as Ellen envisions, the organization will spread to places outside of Coya, giving kids all over the chance to partake in such a wonderful and empowering environment.” -Alexandra Danyluk

“I got to read to a girl who had learning disabilities and draw pictures for her to color. We also got to play games and do puzzles with the kids. Besides playing with the kids we were able to get a lot of work done to help...It was a lot of fun being there and helping the kids accomplish something beautiful that they can point to and say they worked for. Abre Puertas is wonderful because we could really see how the kids were being empowered and gaining confidence in themselves and their abilities. I personally hope this organization continues to grow and show more children and communities what they can become.” - Christina Rose

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