Global Service in Perú – Summer 2018


Program Dates: May 20, 2018 – June 18

Set in the captivating city of Cusco, Perú this global service project will allow students to immerse themselves within the ancient Quechua culture of the area. This UNESCO World Heritage site was the ancient seat of the Inca Empire and its architecture is an unique combination of original Inca stonework and colonial Spanish construction. The city has an ethereal quality that captivates all whom visit it making it one of the most beautiful cities of Latin America.

Students will participate in either small service-learning projects (consisting of groups of 2 – 4 students) or in larger community-wide projects where they will engage in direct, hands-on collaboration with local organizations. Through these projects students will experience and participate in community building and empowerment while reflecting on their experiences.

Projects will vary depending on the community and the needs at the time but will include things such as:

  • Healthy Homes Initiative– Healthy Homes is a long-term project created by ProWorld Peru. It incorporates 10 – 13 different technologies that help improve the lives of families living in our partner communities. These communities traditionally suffer from major health issues and poverty. Families are on average four or more members per household, and often live and sleep together in one room huts with their livestock, predominantly chickens or guinea pigs. Most homes lack running water, and basic sanitation is a growing health concern. Easily avoidable respiratory, skin, and gastrointestinal problems are common. Community impact projects include:
    • Cleaner burning stoves – Many families in the rural areas surrounding Cusco lack access to a chimney and cook indoors on open fires. Women and children spend most of their days in the kitchen area and chronically inhale what is known as “black smoke” or “indoor air pollution.” In addition to eliminating this smoke from the kitchen, cleaner burning stoves also act to make cooking fires more efficient through their design, reducing wood usage by up to 50%. Our cleaner burning stoves are made of locally-produced ceramic components and then constructed by using improved adobe mud. After some training the participants build the stove hand-in-hand with our project coordinators and the family recipient.
    • Water filters – clean water for family
    • Guinea pig huts – more guinea pigs = economic return for family
    • Ecological refrigerators – stores food hygienically
    • Hygienic storage units for kitchen – stores plates and utensils hygienically
    • Livestock sheds – sanitation
    • Improved patios – sanitation
    • Organic gardens – provides improved nutrition
    • Community composting – sustainable agriculture practices
  • Clean Water Projects– In the rural and urban communities of Cusco, the lack of access to clean drinking water is the most pressing development issue facing the region. Gastrointestinal infections, resulting from the consumption of dirty water are known to be one of the leading causes of childhood malnutrition. This project manufactures ceramic water filters, delivers them to homes in rural communities, and trains families how to use them. The filters improve water quality, which decreases poor sanitation and hygiene and lowers the risk of malnutrition and respiratory infections. The participants are needed for multiple roles to assist in the development of the project, including:
    • manufacturing
    • business planning
    • marketing
    • fundraising
  • Reforestation– Deforestation is a big problem in the region. Through this initiative, we help to reforest the lands in the high Andes to provide habitat for endangered species of flora and fauna and to produce essential resources for sustainable energy supplies for the local communities.
  • Greenhouse Project– Due to the geographical and climatic conditions, the families of Andean communities are not able to grow much more than root crops and a few grains. Building greenhouses, enable vegetable cultivation and encourage the families to have a healthy diet. Participants will also contribute to nutrition education session.
  • Health Neighborhoods– This project is designed to promote the social development in the urban and urban marginal areas of Cusco and Urubamba. It is an initiative to promote safety, health and welfare in the population, working together with the neighbors, local and regional governments, public and private institutions.
  • Teacher and School Support– In Cusco, participants work with public elementary schools and kids between the ages of 6-11 years old and support the teachers by assisting with curriculum development and organizing extracurricular learning programs. Participants can create and lead training workshops on topics such as environmental awareness, public health, sanitation, and nutrition in schools.
  • Micro-Finance– Students will work with an organization in Peru that has 20 years of experience providing Micro-finance services to the population in the region, specially focused in the rural areas through one of its service called “Banco Comunal.” The participants get involved in all the areas of the organization, mixing administrative tasks with works fieldwork.

Activities listed above are sample options – final projects will vary based on the needs of the community identified before the group arrives in host country. Full descriptions will be provided in Spring 2018.


All students will enroll in a 3-credit hour prerequisite orientation and cultural studies course that takes place during the Spring 2017 semester. A second 3-credit hour course will be taken in-country, for a total of six undergraduate or graduate credit hours, awarded in the Summer 2017 semester. These courses are designed to integrate academic and experiential learning with cultural immersion, identity exploration, and global engagement. The general undergraduate course numbers are listed below. Undergraduate students interested in other credits and graduate students may earn credit by arrangement with the Office of Service-Learning and their individual departments.

SRV_LRN 3028 or 3028H: Orientation and Cultural Studies (3). The 3 credit hour prerequisite course takes place during spring 2016 on the MU campus. The course focuses on building cultural competencies, critical thinking, and self-discovery. In addition students will research and study the host country’s history, culture, languages, politics and geography.

SRV_LRN 3028 or 3028H: Global Service (3). Students will earn 3 credit hours while engaging in intensive service in the host country. The main objective of this course is to promote service-learning through direct contact, classes, discussions, reflections, and projects while living in host country. Academic coursework will emphasize the development of critical consciousness while engaging in reflection and group dialogue.


Academic Credit

Grades earned on this program will calculate into the MU GPA and appear on students’ MU transcripts when grades are recorded by the Program Leader. Students must work with their academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how the courses might fulfill degree requirements.

Additional Learning and Academic Activities

While living in the host country students will participate in multiple cultural activities that may include lessons in cooking, weaving, and Quichua or Spanish language. Excursions are considered as part of the coursework and should be looked upon as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Part of the final grade will come from their participation and attitude towards learning during these activities and excursions. Faculty will require students to reflect on your experiences on the excursions as part of a final multimedia project.


The program in based in the country of Perú which is a geographically and culturally diverse nation encompassing a wide array of ethnicities, languages, and environments.

Accommodations and Meals

Students will stay with home-stay families in Cusco. Students will be placed in pairs with private rooms. Faculty will have private rooms in their own home-stays. Students will enjoy breakfast and dinner with their host families, and take a pack lunch with them during project days.

Host Program

The Global Service in Perú program will be hosted by KAYA. Kaya is a responsible travel organization that specializes in providing meaningful travel experiences for both individuals and groups. Their mission is to promote sustainable social, environmental and economic development, empower communities and cultivate educated, compassionate global citizens through responsible travel.

Kaya offers a wide range of volunteer projects across 26 countries worldwide. Their project model means that they only commit to projects where there is a genuine need for the physical aid of a volunteer, not just financial assistance, so every volunteer is welcomed and is useful. We help to shape these initiatives that in the long run does not encourage dependence on aid, but instead establishes foundations upon which the people of that country can build and develop themselves. And they ensure that the members of those communities are open and eager to learn and discover our culture as we to become a part of theirs.

Travel Itinerary

To be determined

Program Costs

You can find the estimated program costs for Summer 2018 here: Peru Summer 2017 Budget

For more information about financing your Global Service Program, please see the Financing page.

Application and Eligibility

Before you apply to your chosen program, please review the How to Apply page.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of a student’s academic transcript, quality and depth of response to the personal statement. In addition, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be in good disciplinary standing with the University for consideration. A personal interview may be required. Admission to a global service program is not guaranteed.

To apply for this Global Service Program, please submit the Online Application by:

  • Final Application Deadline is February 28, 2018.

More Information

For more information, please contact Office of Service-Learning. To schedule an appointment, visit MUConnect on Blackboard, go to your “My Success Network”, type in “Service-Learning”, and click on the link for Global Service staff on the Service-Learning page.

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