Wrapping Up Orientation in Peru - Weeks 3 & 4

The time has come to wrap up EdOdyssey’s study abroad month-long orientation in Lima, Peru. During the past month, Sandra, Sarah, Grace, Citlalli, Jeniffer, Steve and Joe had opportunities to create friendships, familiarize themselves with how Peruvian Spanish differs from other countries in the region, and get to know Lima on their own! In our third and fourth week of our month-long orientation, we showed them a more in depth look at the diverse communities within Lima and Peru as a country.

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During the first two weeks, they visited bordering cities and districts of Lima, in addition to their daily language and cultural classes.

This way they were able to learn how both time and distance are very different things when moving around Lima, compared to what they are used to back home. They even learned firsthand how the city’s traffic can change dramatically in just under an hour’s long trip.

In the last two weeks of the orientation, we took the students on an in-depth journey to continue exploring the city and we accompanied them to get a taste and look into Peru’s incredible diversity during our trip to Iquitos, located in the Peruvian Jungle.

The group received lessons on Peruvian music, including Bareto - a music group in Peru who are famous for their versions of Peruvian classic hits.

The group received lessons on Peruvian music, including Bareto - a music group in Peru who are famous for their versions of Peruvian classic hits.

Throughout this third and fourth week of our month long orientation, our group continued to practice their Spanish skills and learned about Peruvian music (pictured left) by showing them examples from our three regions’ (coast, highlands and jungle) musical expression. Peruvians love to express their history through their music. Some songs are filled with longing for what was lost while others are full of happiness about life and our connection to their ancestors’ heritage. 

They visited Lugar de la Memoria to understand Terrorism in Peru to learn about one of the darkest, most violent times in Peruvian socio-economic conflict history and the way it shaped Peru’s social interactions today.

Additionally, they spent time at the MATE museum in Barranco, which is a non-profit center established to promote Peru’s culture and heritage. For example, they saw the work of Mario Testino, famous Peruvian photographer, who has captured the likes of many celebrities and well-known personalities all over the world sharing his unique perspective through his lens.

Students continued to explore Lima, including the Plaza de Armas de Lima (pictured below, left) which is the center of the city. While on their visit, they quickly learned about the different ways the city has grown, and how the Via Expresa has helped to connect everything together with a highway that helps go through the city a little quicker.

They were able to view the Cathedral of Lima (pictured above, right) and about Jirón de la Unión, your street of choice if you wanted to be seen and known back in the 1950’s. In fact, Plaza Bolívar is location where the one and only Simon Bolivar, one of the forefathers of Peru’s independence lived for three years starting in 1823, which was only two years after Peru’s independence was declared.

During the third week of orientation, students participated in additional days of service and volunteering to gain a wider perspective with respect to the different communities in Lima. Additionally, they visited one of the most impoverished communities in the city and witnessed the economic divide. As week four concluded, students spent the afternoon at “Kantaya” (pictured below) which is located in a more poverty-stricken area outside of Lima with children ages 5 to 15 years old, and helped the staff during activities, such as teaching english.

Our students visited the Corazon de Jesus School with Agustin.

Our students visited the Corazon de Jesus School with Agustin.

They also met and visited Agustin, the promoter of the donation-funded Corazon de Jesus school. Located in the outskirts of the city, east of Metropolitan Lima, this was a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn how differently people live from the main, more tourist-oriented parts of Lima. Even with a reduced budget, the school shows that a lot can be done with the will to be better and love for education, despite scarcity and hardship.

The group posed in front of the Libertad Jungle Lodge, an accommodation and community within the Iquitos area of Peru.

The group posed in front of the Libertad Jungle Lodge, an accommodation and community within the Iquitos area of Peru.

The final week of orientation marks the beginning of the academic year at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) where students take classes in Lima. Before our students went on campus to start their classes, the EdOdyssey team took them on a trip to Iquitos, one of the three excursions we have prepared for them so they get to know how diverse Peru is in its territory. Life in the jungle is not easy, especially if you come from the city.

With the help of Gumer, the bravest and most charismatic guide you’ll find in Peru, our students learned about jungle survival and swam with Pink Dolphins. Fun Fact: these animals have evolved specifically for rivers and interact with wild monkeys and go out fishing for piranhas.

Our students also learned about the mindset of the people in Iquitos, and how hard work is when you are in a part of the country far away from its capital.

It sure has been quite the adventure for EdOdyssey students during their first month abroad! As their semester begins, we hope they have enjoyed their introduction to Peru and continue to embrace their journey overseas!

Are you interested in learning more about the study abroad program that these EdOdyssey students are participating in? Check out our Study Abroad page today!