The 2018 Women’s Global Connection Immersion Trip to Peru is in full swing!
Travelers recently left Lima on an approximate 7-hour bus north to Chimbote, where they’re now conducting educational trainings and workshops with community partners and women’s groups. The group of seven is also connecting with the Peruvian Incarnate Word Sisters and Incarnate Word Missionaries and learning more about their longtime work in the region.
On Friday, immersion trip volunteers helped to expand the WGC Lieveld Water Project into Peru. The program, named in honor of the late UIW pharmacy professor Dr. Patricia Lieveld, previously operated only in Tanzania.
At a workshop for Chimbote preschool teachers (pictured here) held at the Centro Cultural Centenario, volunteers and a nurse from the CCVI/Christus-supported Santa Clara Chimbote Clinic taught a course about sanitation and hygiene. They also trained the 36 teachers on how to use new, WGC-provided water filters to be used in their classrooms to provide clean water for students and families.
Chimbote preschools often function as community centers in the poor areas known as unincorporated zones, which are similar to colonies along the Texas-México border. The zones have little access to potable drinking water.
Under the new project, students’ families living nearby can use the filtered water located at the schools, meaning approximately 3,000 community members will have access to cleaner water.
The workshop on Friday concluded with an activity hosted by travelers Edith Ausburn and Vivian Vance to raise awareness of how quickly germs can spread. They had the teachers form a circle and had each close their eyes.
Two women were chosen and they had lotion and glitter rubbed on their hands. They were told to not tell anyone else they had the glitter. The bigger group of women then opened their eyes and those with glitter on their hands were told to go around and shake hands with three other people. Then others in the group shook hands.
After the interactions, 28 out of the 36 women had glitter on their hands. Edith and Vivian explained that this represents how quickly germs can spread to a vast amount of people when handwashing is neglected.
After the workshop ended, each woman took home a water container and filter to have in their classroom and they also received a certificate of completion for the course.
The WGC Immersion Trip includes:
Trip Leader and WGC Volunteer: Denise Krohn, PhD, UIW Office of Research and Graduate Studies; Alfredo Ortiz, PhD, UIW Dreeben School of Education Associate Professor; Monica Hernandez, UIW Ettling Center and UIW Doctoral Student; Elena Valenzuela, UIW Doctoral Student; Sarah Duffy, UIW undergraduate student; Vivian Vance, community member with specialization in education; Edith Ausburn, community member with specialization in social work.
To follow all the activities of the Peru immersion trip, go to our WGC Travelblogue.