Today was a day of introductions. Participants viewed all the placements and visited the shanty town community of Pacifico De Villa. They went to see Laura Alva a special needs school, Cristo Rey a private school, Juan Pablo II a public school and the health, kindergarten and soup kitchen in Pacifico De Villa. Visiting the placements contributed to an even greater level of excitement for the upcoming week. The participants will have the opportunity to engage in all of the placements they saw today. As Lauren Dunlop said, “seeing all the placements was an amazing experience and I wish I could be here for more time so I could really engage in all of them.” It’s fantastic to see how much some of the participants have connected with certain placements or which placements have resonated with them. The placements offer an experience to promote personal growth through being exposed to new things and getting pushed outside of their comfort zones.
The days outing concluded with a Harlem Shake, stay tuned for the video, and a trip to see the ocean. Tonight will end off with an activity to recognize each participant’s strengths and weaknesses so the groups can learn how to grow and contribute to each others’ growth. Many new meaningful relationships have begun to form and the sound of laughter is constantly wafting through the retreat house. I am confident that because of the amazing group of individuals who have assembled in Peru and the strong bonds that have begun to form, this will be a transformational experience for everyone involved in the Solidarity in Action May 2013 program.