Going to Peru
In conjunction with 'Soladaridad en Marcha'(Solidarity In
Action), a group of approximately 22 Bowdoin students is planning a service
trip to Peru this March vacation. The group will make housing repairs
and build a playground for underprivileged children living in the slums
of the poor neighborhood, San Juan Miraflores surrounding the city.
However, our trip includes heavy costs such as airfare,
housing, food, and most importantly, building supplies for our projects.
Therefore, we are seeking your assistance in funding our expedition.
'Solidaridad en Marcha' is a Peruvian based organization
that focuses on social and humanitarian work. It is particularly involved
in projects in the many shantytowns of Lima.
In the organization's own words: "Solidarity in Action
seeks to love the most poor and needy among us making it visible in concrete
action. We work to improve the human condition integrally, considering
their biological, psychological, and spiritual needs. In this way, we
hope to help in constructing a more just society."
The Bowdoin students will be working in the capital of Peru,
Lima. Lima has a population of about eight million and is an extremely
poor area. Over half of its population lives below the poverty line.
We anticipate arriving in Lima on Saturday, March 9, 2002.
Our first day will be one of orienting ourselves with the project's staff
and familiarizing ourselves with Lima. For the following nine days we
will work on completing our tasks.
Our group will sleep and live together in a house just outside
Lima. After ten days we expect to conclude our service projects.
After doing so, we hope to spend the next four days, as
suggested by 'Solidaridad en Marcha,' traveling in the Peruvian Andes
on the Inca Trail in Machu Pichu. This four-day trip will be a fascinating
opportunity to reflect on our experience and our personal challenges before
returning to the United States. The Inca Trail is also an important part
of Peruvian history and culture that may close to tourists indefinitely
in the near future.
Bowdoin's 22 participants expect that this experience will
change their lives as well as make an indelible impact on the impoverished
people of Lima. At this point in history, they feel it is important to
support all those, across the globe, in need and are attempting to promote
peace and solidarity among different cultures.
Just ten days of concentrated effort can make a tremendous difference for the Peruvian children we hope our days will not just improve their current condition, but also illustrate the importance of understanding and support among cultures.