During the Peru SOFE, students explore the historical, political, socioeconomic, cultural, and geographic factors contributing to the uniqueness of local nonprofit organizations and international non-governmental organizations working in the Peruvian Third Sector.
Three themes will guide our explorations and discoveries:
- Poverty and development
- Health and education
We will develop our studies and research in two cities in different geographical regions
(South Pacific coastline and the Andes Mountains):
- Lima, the nation’s capital and one of the largest metropolitan cities in South America (population: approx. 8 million).
- Cusco, the “Imperial City” and historical capital of the Inca Empire and gateway to the Urubamba Valley (population: approx. 350,000).
In Lima, students meet with researchers and scholars at the Universidad Del Pacífico, a prestigious Jesuit University that is the “think tank” for nonprofit research and studies in Peru. Students attend meetings with important NGOs that work in the city.
In Cusco, declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO, students experience the ancient culture and peoples of Peru – the Incas. Students examine several nonprofit activities in the area (an orphanage, an indigenous school and organic farm, and international volunteer projects). Students journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas with stops to see ecotourism and educational nonprofits in the Andean rural areas, and have the opportunity to tour the archaeological site of Machu Picchu – a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Critical for the purpose of the Peru SOFE is for students to come with eyes to see, ears to listen and an openness to learn and experience a culture different from their own – suspending judgment, releasing preconceived notions and embracing a different worldview.