On December 29 to January 10, 2018, Lehigh’s Global Citizenship Cohort XIII (GCP) embarked on an educational adventure to Peru as a part of their faculty-led intersession trip abroad. The students traveled to Lima, Misminay, and Cusco to experience the rich culture and heritage of Peru.
Many students expressed how educational and invigorating their trip was from visiting indigenous communities, museums, community service and more. Marilyn Nguyen (GC cohort XIII member) shares “My favorite memory: I loved the community within Cusco, Peru. When we visited the indigenous community in Misminay, their culture was so rich and vibrant, with each community member trusting and relying on each other to survive.” Nguyen explains one part of one of Misminay’s indigenous communities included, “gender roles did not seem to play much of a role as both men and women cooked and took care of physical tasks as well. The entire experience was absolutely unforgettable.”
Students enriched their knowledge by learning about historically rich areas such as Inca ruins, Cusco’s Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. Throughout the trip, students had reflection times to deeply digest the information presented to them and thoroughly discuss questions and ideas. Emma Dillon (GC cohort XIII member) shares, “each and every single moment spent in Peru, I thought to myself, how did I get here? I am so beyond grateful for the Global Citizenship Program to offer us such an unprecedented learning experience. I learned more in Peru than I ever have in a classroom.”
The trip was led by Dr. Sarah Stanlick, director of Global Citizenship, and Dr. Matthew Bush, director of Lehigh’s Latin American and Latino Studies Program. They created a truly intellectually and invigorating journey for the Global citizenship students to challenge their identity as tourists and global citizens while appreciating the delicious local foods. The students further learned about important elements of Peruvian culture such as South America’s four camelids; the alpaca, llama, vicuña, and guanaco as well as textile weaving and dyeing in Awana Kancha, Peru.
Aisha Abdulkarimu (GC cohort XIII member) informs how she, “ loved Peru!!! I focused on being a global citizen and not a tourist when traveling abroad. This means educating myself on the culture and taking the time to really enjoy the landscape and people I was with.” The trip was overall a life changer that continues to inspire Global Citizenship students to question their environments and challenge their perceptions of the world connected to their academics. Becca Luttinen echoes her cohort members sentiments of “Peru was incredible. I have not left a country feeling like I’ve learnt enough about its culture until I left Peru. I felt like we got a holistic view of Peru’s diverse and distinct culture in less than two weeks. I hope to go back someday to continue learning.” To learn more about the Peru trip check out some Youtube videos of the trip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W5_RWvu57A and https://youtu.be/xI1sYq0-wMw. Article by Frangy Pozo.