By: Fred Mathieu, Orientation Leader
Here at Regis, a Catholic University in Greater Boston, there has been core values bestowed upon the students by the Sisters of Saint Joseph to initiate change within us and the people around us further. One of the core values that is discussed is love and service of the dear neighbor without distinction. And the way that Regis caught my attention to exhibit this value was through their service and immersion trips. After thinking to myself, “How can I get involved and make a difference?” I was approached by the Center for Ministry and Service Graduate Intern, Jeff Parish. He encouraged me to go on the Peru Solidarity and from that moment on, I have been forever in his debt for the amazing experience I gained from being in Peru.
On March 2, 2017, twenty-one Regis student delegates including myself embarked on a ten-hour plane ride to Lima, Peru. As we went through customs, we were immediately greeted by the community members that we would be working with. Little did I know that they would become family to me after this trip. First, we would always start our day with breakfast and a prayer to begin the day. Overall we had three meals a day religiously, which consisted of various foods that are popular in the Peruvian culture. Each day that went by, we were experiencing different pieces of their culture and the city’s upbringing. Concluding each day with reflection, my heart grew closer to the people we worked with. I discovered a connection with the Peruvian culture that opened my eyes to the beauty of the world of service.
The community that we lived in was the result of their ancestors who established civilization in a barren desert over thirty years ago. To see how the residents of the community overcame such adversity and created various opportunity for themselves is remarkable. Despite the unfair circumstances placed upon them, the Peruvian people follow by faith that they will achieve their dreams. Teaching me the beauty of hard work and determination, the Peru service trip taught me to enjoy every little thing in life and take advantage of every opportunity present.