Help a Music Teacher Peru(se) through Latin America!

Grace Carver Start Date: May 3, 2018 - End Date: Dec 3, 2018
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Intern Abroad
  • Study/Degree Abroad
  • Cusco, Peru
  • Cuzco, Peru

My Travel Story

by: Grace Carver Start Date: May 3, 2018 - End Date: Dec 3, 2018
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Intern Abroad
  • Study/Degree Abroad
                                                                                                                     My Lightbulb Moment

I often get the question, “why music and why education?”. When I was 15, I went to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on a medical mission trip, where my team travelled to a different batey, or sugar cane village, every day to distribute food and clothes and provide medical attention and services to its intensely impoverished people. I was responsible for keeping the children busy while their parents sought out much needed medical attention from our clinic. It was a critical piece of our work but to the kids, it was another chance to play.

My Spanish was rudimentary and kids that spoke any English were few and far between. No part of my life or circumstances resembled theirs and yet we kicked soccer balls, carelessly flung frisbees, and blew bubbles together. We colored with their new crayons and sang until our own laughter drowned out our songs. They stomped and clapped as I sang “We Will Rock You” and even began to sing with me once they picked up the chorus.

That day helped me realize that nothing, not language, culture, nationality, nor even economic status can keep humans from uniting in peace to create something incredible, despite their differences. I will keep exploring, learning, and meeting new people knowing that gaps can be bridged and hurdles overcome. We will always face barriers no matter where we go - differences in native language, socioeconomic class, religion, educational background.  It is not what we have been challenged with, but rather how we choose to take these moments in our life and turn them into opportunities to rectify our perception of the world and the people within it and affect positive change within ourselves and others.


                                                                                                                                      ¿Why Peru?

While studying in Peru, in addition to working on my Inquiry Project (graduate thesis) and taking graduate classes, I will be working with the Project Yachayninchis of the District of San Jerónimo, working on vocal and instrumental music workshops in the Picol, Puscarpampa, Conchacalla, and Suncco communities.

It has been a lifelong dream of mine to become bilingual, specifically in the Spanish language. In Peru, I will be immersed for four months in the language and live with a local family, encountering the everyday lives and experiences of people from a different cultural, linguistic, educational, and family background. When anyone travels to a place that is particularly unlike the country or region of the world they live in, they are automatically bound to the commitment of assimilating into that culture. Because of this, I will learn how to interact, work, and build relationships with others who I would not have otherwise become acquainted with. When you assimilate with others unlike yourself, you learn to become more empathetic and your perception about people and education broaden. Being an education major gives me an even bigger advantage than it would any other major. In addition to the internship I will be placed in in Cusco, I will simultaneously experience Peru’s postsecondary education system while taking courses and conducting research.

According to the National Council of La Raza, Latinos are by far the fastest growing sector of the U.S. school population. Over the last 15 years, Latino enrollment has significantly outpaced that of whites and African-Americans. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world and there are a lot of challenges that English Language Learners (ELLs) face in U.S. schools. When I return from Peru, I hope to become an advocate for my ELL students. Not only will I be able to communicate with them, I will be able to foster a deeper trust and relationship with them, possibly diminishing the gap between them and their non-ELL peers. Through this program, I hope to gain more skills and knowledge to fight for and empower an even large population of my future students.


  • Cusco, Peru
  • Cuzco, Peru