Few destinations have as much to offer visitors as Peru. The country is best known as the heart of the Inca Empire; however, it was home to many diverse indigenous cultures long before the Incas arrived. Peru’s population is divided almost equally between the highlands and the population centers of the coast. The division marks a sharp cultural as well as geographic divide. The inland regions are marked by extreme poverty and subsistence agriculture, while the fertile river valleys of the lowlands have produced a wealthier, more cosmopolitan culture. Almost half of Peru’s people are Indian, while another third are mestizo. Although Spanish is Peru’s official language, a multitude of indigenous languages continue to hold sway in the highlands.
Piura served as the first main port through which Inca gold was shipped back to Spain. As the oldest colonial city in Peru, its location changed three times before it was established on its present inland desert location in northern Peru about 45 minutes from the coast. Piura is host to a stunning mestizo culture and is famous for gastronomical dishes like seco de chavelo (a favorite local dish), algarrobina drinks, pisco sour (the national drink), ceviche and natilla sweets. Popular crafts are the Chulucana pottery and Catacaos is famous for its hats and silversmith arts. The tondero and cumanana are the traditional music styles of mestizo Piura.
On this program, nursing students have the unique opportunity to complete their community clinical experience in Piura, Peru, after completing their community theory course at Marquette.
This month-long program focuses on community health nursing at Sacramento Santisimo, a Catholic parish in Piura. Summer 2014 will mark the seventh year that Marquette University's College of Nursing has offered this clinical nursing experience for academic credit.
Sacramento Santisimo parish has a well-trained nursing staff and an excellent health clinic including a surgical suite for visiting medical teams from the US. If the medical teams are visiting, students have the opportunity to assist in the pre/post-surgical areas. In addition, students are able to work in the parish clinic with staff nurses who monitor pregnant women and/or a general clinic. However, students spend most of their time with the "poorest of the poor" in the surrounding villages. Many students find that home visits and teaching the village women are their favorite experiences. Students adapt quickly to working in homes with bamboo walls, corrugated tin roofs and dirt floors with minimal resources. In addition, students have the opportunity to work in a parish-operated hospice, teach health-related programs to school children, work in an emergency room with Peruvian physicians and nurses, and assist in a nursing home.
Most students discover this international opportunity to be a “life-changing monumental experience!” In debriefings, students frequently express how their "thinking has been changed." Students also discuss the insights they gain into the importance of a connected community, both locally and globally. Overall, students agree that the program is an incredibly rewarding experience.
Students will participate in a comprehensive orientation at Marquette prior to departure on Friday, April 1st from 5-7:30 p.m.
The first session of the program this year is led by Dr. Christine Schindler, clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing. Students complete a three-credit community theory course on campus, prior to traveling to Piura, and complete the three-credit clinical portion in Peru. Because these are Marquette courses, grades will appear on the Marquette transcript and will factor into a student's GPA.
Students in this program stay in the Catholic parish housing with visitors from various organizations. Meals are provided by the parish.
VISA AND TRAVEL
Click on the link below for visa and travel details specific to Peru.