Editor's note: The following is a press release.
During February vacation, fifteen students from traveled to South America with two teachers on the school's fifth immersion trip to Lima, Peru.
There, the group met their peers at the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers school in Canto Grande, Peru, spending social time with them, playing soccer and practicing their Spanish. They visited two beaches and swam in thePacific Ocean, toured historic ruins, visited museums and attended a traditional dance recital.
"The day at Canto Grande was really the highlight of the trip," said sophomore Sean Donovan, who loved his first trip so much two years ago that he returned this year. "We played soccer with the kids and toured their school. It was a blast to see how happy the kids were just to be with us."
In Villa Salvador, a few hours south of Lima, the CM students visited with Sr. Clare Dawson, an Irish nun who has worked to establish a medical clinic and orphanage in the town. There, they also learned about the Shining Path movement and how citizens suffered from both its incursions into the town and the government's reactions over the years.
As they were in Peru for the beginning of the Lenten season, the students received ashes on Ash Wednesday atthe main cathedral in Lima, where they also toured the Plaza de Armas and government buildings.
"It was an amazing experience for me," said freshman Liam Grady. "It showed me many different cultures and I soon saw the contrast between the very rich parts of the country and the very poor parts."
"This was a powerful trip on many levels," said Vice Principal Dr. James Keane. "This group saw and accomplished an impressive amount in the short time we were in Peru. It was a tremendously powerful and rewarding experience for all of us."
Each night at the hotel, students reflected on their work and travels. "The group really impressed me," said teacher Peter McGovern. "They are really putting [the world] together, understanding the importance of education, appreciating the disparity between rich and poor, and asking fundamental questions about fairness and justice."
The following CM students went to Peru:
Matthew Erti, West Roxbury
Sean Lawler, Plainville
Sean Keane, Medway
Michael Tomaino, Millis
Sean Donovan, Abington
Christopher Cobuccio, Roslindale
Christopher Jackson, Newton
Martin Geraghty, Westwood
John Martins, Walpole
Justin Larose, Mansfield
Joseph Toscano-McDonald, Roslindale
Liam Grady, West Roxbury
Alexander Curry, Hyde Park
Tianlin Wang, West Roxbury
Quinn Ciesielski, Needham