Temporary Gates

By Cara Ward, an intern at the Casa del Buen Trato Hovde, a shelter for survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse.

Huanuco Cara Ward

Since I have come to Peru, my vocabulary has been significantly depleted due to my limited knowledge of the Spanish language. One word, however, that frequents my English vocabulary much more often than it used to is “experience.” Time is often measured “before,” “after,” and “during my experience here.” I have had the experience of eating alpaca. I have the experience of being woken up by an overly enthusiastic rooster outside my door at 6 AM every morning. I get to experience the amusing system of public transportation here in Huánuco. My exhaustive use of the word has me wondering if I value life in a sequential set of happenings.

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Chasing Away “Discapacidad”

By Riana Hardin, volunteer with the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program for children with disabilities in San Martín, Peru

A visit to one of the students who requires more one on one rehabilitation services
A visit to one of the students who requires more one on one rehabilitation services

If there is one thing that I have come to struggle with since coming to Peru and working with Paz y Esperanza is the word discapacidad. Indeed, I realize that the word cannot help but be what it is, but I cringe at the contamination that a person is somehow lesser of a human because of a difference that they had no control over. After having spent a large chunk of last semester, monitoring disability issues in India, I am well aware of the second class status “disability” carries in most of the world. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to cry out an ocean of tears for the careless discard of untapped potential and ability to contribute and participate in the human experience.

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More than a New Profile Pic

By Ryan Juskus, volunteer in San Martín in 2004

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There is a joke about a short-term humanitarian volunteer who visited an East African country to spend time serving kids in an orphanage.  While there, he took lots of selfies with some of the orphans.  When he returned home, he described the experience as “transformative,” so much so that he used one of those photos as his facebook profile picture for a whole two weeks!

The joke, of course, is that if such an encounter were so transformative, then it would have led to a lifestyle and vocational commitment to identify and combat the root causes of human suffering and injustice in our world today.  And such a commitment would cause him to ask the hard questions about his own country, privilege, and complicity in unjust systems that create or maintain broken relationships.  In other words, transformation would have included more than a transformed facebook profile.  It would have included a transformed lifestyle and spiritual life.

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El Gran Valor del Voluntariado

Experiencias que nos llevan a la reflexión y al aprendizaje

Por: Doris Godoy Cortez, Psicóloga en la Oficina Regional de Huánuco

Después de varios años y de tener la gran oportunidad de compartir, transmitir prácticas y acompañar a más de 30 voluntarios nacionales e internacionales en estos últimos 10 años, me cabe mencionar que esta experiencia ha sido de gran valor para el crecimiento institucional y personal de muchos quienes hacemos la organización Paz y Esperanza en Huánuco.

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