Program Dates: anticipated: May 28th – June 26th 2021
Interested in this Program? please complete our Interest Form
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. Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was an ancient seat of the Inca Empire. Its architecture is a unique combination of original Inca stonework and colonial Spanish construction. The city has an ethereal quality that captivates everyone that visits, making it one of the most beautiful cities of Latin America! Known as the gateway city to Machu Picchu, Cusco and the surrounding area is historic and beautiful, with wonderful vistas around each corner. The many different tours and excursions you can participate in will allow you to experience the rich culture of the region.
Students will participate in service-learning projects in Cusco and the surrounding areas. Activities listed are sample options – final projects will vary based on the needs of the community identified before the group arrives in Peru.
Monday-Thursday: Education and health:
- Working at a local school: There are many government run schools in Cusco. These schools can be overcrowded and have limited resources. Your role will be to support the teachers and provide fun and educational activities for the children. You will be teaching English as a second language, through reading books together, creating art projects and performing skits and plays with the children. No Spanish language skills are required, but you will pick up some basic Spanish and Quechua, and this is an ideal opportunity for anyone who wants to practice or improve their Spanish speaking skills.
- Working in Public Health with CEDNA: Project Miski Wawa aims to improve the nutritional status of young children in marginal urban areas around Cusco. You will travel with project coordinators from CEDNA to work in these areas. You will help will wellness visits for young children and infants, taking vitals and helping to assess health. A test for iron deficiency determines if supplements are necessary and students will help with the education around and distribution of these supplements. No Spanish language skills are required, but you will pick up some basic Spanish and Quechua, and this is an ideal opportunity for anyone who wants to practice or improve their Spanish speaking skills.
- Working at Belempampa health Center: This is one of the largest health centers in Cusco, with many of the small rural health centers referring patients. Many different departments exist such as dentistry, psychiatry and labor and delivery. All student start working in patient records before moving between different departments. Students need to be self-starter to cope with the busy working environment and need to be proficient in Spanish.
Every Friday: Healthy Homes Initiative:
- This initiative is designed to help improve the lives of families living in rural communities surrounding the city of Cusco many of whom suffer from major health issues and poverty. Households of four or more often live and sleep together in one room homes 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. Our current community impact project:
- 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%. the cleaner burning stoves are made of locally-produced ceramic components and then constructed by using improved adobe mud. After some training YOU will help build the stoves hand-in-hand with our project coordinators and the family recipient.
Students will stay in hotel accommodations in the central touristic hub, or old city. Many amenities will be within walking distance and students will get to experience the beauty of the city on a daily basis. Breakfast will be provided each day, and some lunches and dinners will also be provided during the week when we travel out of the city and whilst on excursions.
On arrival in Cusco we will take a tour of the city. Other excursions will include a two day visit to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. There are many other excursions in the region that students can take over a free weekend. Cultural shows and chocolate making classes will also be incorporated into our schedule during the evenings.
Sample Itinerary (note this is subject to change)
May 27th: Leave USA to arrive in Cusco the morning of May 28th
May 28th: Acclamation – Cusco is at high altitude so this is a rest day. In the evening we will meet to go over the itinerary, syllabus and practice a few words in Quechua.
May 30th: City tour of Cathedral and Qorikancha. Welcome dinner.
May 31st Free day to explore the markets and town.
June 1st – June 4th: work at your service site.
June 5th – June 6th: Healthy home initiative
June 7th: Tour of Inca ruins in Cusco city: Saqsaywaman, Puka Pukara, Tambomachay etc.
June 8th – June 11th: work at your service site.
June 12th: Healthy home initiative.
June13th and 14th: weekend trip to tour of Sacred valley and Machu Picchu.
June 15th – June 18th: work at your service site.
June 19th: Healthy home initiative.
June 20th -June 21st Free Weekend. This is your opportunity to take in one of many tours offered in the Cusco area.
June 22nd – June 25th: work at your service site.
June 25th: healthy homes initiative. Farewell Dinner
June 26th: Students leave for USA.
All students will be enrolled in a 0-credit hour prerequisite orientation and cultural studies course that takes place during the Spring 2021 semester. A second 6-credit hour course will be taken in-country, and awarded in the Summer 2021 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: Global Service (6). Students will earn 6 credit hours (awarded during Summer semester) for pre-departure workshops, held during the spring semester, and while engaging in intensive service in the host country during the Summer.
Class Schedule – must attend all classes
Monday’s between 8 pm to 10 pm towards the end of the spring semester (dates to be determined)
SRV_LRN 0501 The 0 credit hour prerequisite course takes place during Spring 2021 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. This course prepares you for your service abroad and students must participate fully in order to remain in the program.
SRV_LRN 3028/ 3028(H) Students will earn 6 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.
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 and will be expected to learn some Quechua and 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 in your final papers.
The budget for our proposed Summer 2020 program is provided below as a guideline to the cost of the program. This budget will be update once COVID related travel restrictions have been lifted.
This program is supported by the Office of Service-Learning.
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.
Final application deadline: TBD
For more information, please contact Yvonne Binfield in the Office of Service-Learning. To schedule an appointment, visit MUConnect on Canvas, go to your “My Success Network”, type in “Service-Learning”, and click on the link to make an appointment with Yvonne. You can also complete our Interest Form