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Bloomfield students set sights on Peru for next service project

Students at Bloomfield High School are again preparing for a trip to Latin America to help people less fortunate than themselves.

They will be giving up a large part of their Christmas holiday vacation to help with a continuing project to build a girls’ dormitory in the Sacred Valley of Peru and complete an infrastructure service project for a Quechua village, also part of the Sacred Valley.

This time around, students will actually stay in pairs with the families they are helping in the Quechua village of Pachar in the Andes Mountains, instead of spending a day or half-day with people they’re serving, like they did on previous trips to the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

“I think it’s one thing to read about their culture, but it’s a whole ’nother thing to be there and experience it,” said Lauryn Scott, who just completed her junior year. “I think you get so much more from the trip if you have that human-to-human interaction with them. You’re present with them and do stuff by their rules, you follow what they do. I feel like it’s an eye-opening experience.”

Living with the families was a big draw for a lot of the students who are all in the International Baccalaureate CAS (creativity, activity and service) program at Bloomfield that is partnering with the nonprofit Sacred Valley Project, part of the Ohio-based Rustic Pathways Foundation through which previous service projects were also arranged.

The Sacred Valley Project is a nonprofit working to provide increased educational access to girls after elementary school in rural Andean communities where secondary schools are often only available to boys.

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