Goshen College student studying in Peru

GOSHEN, Ind. — A Franconia Conference native is participating in the Goshen (Ind.) College Study-Service Term (SST) in Peru during this fall, along with 15 other students.

Katharine E. Derstine, daughter of John and Sheryl Derstine, is majoring in business. She is a 2005 graduate of Christopher Dock Mennonite High School and attends Blooming Glen Mennonite Church. The SST is being led by Duane Stoltzfus, associate professor of communication, and his wife, Karen Sherer Stoltzfus. The group will return at the end of November.

Web updates and photos from the group are available from Goshen College’s SST Web site at: www.goshen.edu/sst/perufall07. Stoltzfus is also keeping a blog about his observations at dstoltzfus.wordpress.com.

Located in South America along the Pacific Ocean, just south of the equator, Peru is a country of contrasts. It is home to the Andes Mountains, the Amazon rainforest, a desert blanketing the coast and a wealthy capital surrounded by shantytowns. Indigenous people make up 60 percent of the country’s population.

Students will spend the first six weeks studying Spanish and learning about Incan history, the 1980s civil war and the women’s movement in Peru. During the second half of their stay, students will spread out across the country to live with families and volunteer at service assignments.

Since SST began in 1968, more than 6,500 students and 230 faculty leaders have traveled to 20 countries; the college currently organizes SSTunits to study and serve in China, Germany, Cambodia, Senegal, Peru, Jamaica and Nicaragua. Goshen established an SST unit in Peru in 1995.

Photo by: Eric Kennel