“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous
In 2015, ND TRiO Upward Bound alumna, Elda Navarro was concerned about college. Even though Elda thrived as a scholar in high school, the barriers of a being a first-generation college student were daunting. Fortunately, with the support of ND TRiO and Elda’s academic tenacity, Elda enrolled at Goshen College to tackle her fears and begin the process of becoming the first college graduate in her family. As Elda matriculated at Goshen College, she became inspired to provide “service while learning.” Along with 13 other students of Goshen’s Study-Service Term, Elda traveled to Peru for six weeks to learn about the country’s history and culture. “We visited museums and other parts of Peru like Chincha Alta (an Afro-Peruvian community) and Caral, South America’s oldest civilization. We experienced Lima and its conos, which are the developing towns (Cono Sur and Cono Norte); traveled to Cusco and pre-Incan and Incan ruins; oh, and Machu Picchu. I didn’t want to sleep. I was surrounded by beauty and opportunity. I can’t believe I’m here doing this,” said Elda. After becoming familiar with the country’s rich history, Elda was immersed within the community by residing with her host family in Arequipa. Even though Elda basked in the beauty of her Peruvian experience, she appreciated the “service-learning” component. During her study term, Elda served as a teaching assistant at the Francisco Rojas School. Due to her passion and hands-on approach, Elda was invited to serve as an English teacher for a local orphanage – a first for the orphanage…and another first for Elda. “I am so blessed. I inaugurated a program that will have an impact for years to come. I can’t believe I’m here.”
Hey Elda! We can!