Peru - Lima


Partner Organization:  Congregation of the Holy Cross in Lima, Peru

Location:  Lima, Peru

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  Students must be flexible.  Dates dependent on availability of Holy Cross staff. In 2016, ISSLP students departed during the last week of May.

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  Strong proficiency in Spanish required
  • Gender Requirement:  Male
  • Required Experience: None
  • Major Requirement:  None
  • Student Minimum Age:  None
  • Special Requirements: Experience in working with children with special needs is desired. Students lacking such experience may be required to volunteer in a local organization that works with people with special needs in the South Bend community.  Knowledge and interest in teaching art and music is desirable but not required.

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment:  (The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the Spring semester.)

  • Teaching/Working with Children Workshop
  • Holy Cross Orientation
  • Self Defense

Site Description:  

The Holy Cross Mission in Perú was initiated in the early 1960s in response to Pope John XXIII’s call to send missionaries to Latin America. That original congregational commitment has developed and matured from the initial foundations in the northern coastal areas of Cartavio and Chimbote, a presence in the department of Puno, and a brief commitment within the Diocese of Tacna. Today the life and work of the Holy Cross community is rooted among the urban poor and concentrated principally within the limits of El Señor de la Esperanza Parish in Canto Grande, District of San Juan de Lurigancho.

The Holy Cross Priests in Lima live their common vocation as disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ (Latin American Episcopal Conference, Aparecida, Brazil, 2007) in parochial work, in formal education, integrated healthcare, the promotion of people with disabilities and pastoral work with families. From the source of individual talents and richness of the Holy Cross charism, the Holy Cross priests contribute apostolic zeal, confidence in Divine Providence, the ability to do social analysis, the synergy of their apostolates and their service to the local and universal Church.

Though El Señor de la Esperanza Parish is the original Holy Cross commitment in the metropolitan Lima area and could be considered the anchor of what the Holy Cross Priests do in Peru, all their apostolates are clearly and effectively interrelated to carry out the mission of the Holy Cross in the country.

There are six main projects in which the Holy Cross Mission in Lima is deeply involved:

El Señor de la Esperanza Parish. Holy Cross is responsible “in perpetuity” for the most populated parish in the country. El Señor de la Esperanza Parish, located in the largest municipal district, and forms part of the Dioceses of Chosica, Lima East. This parish base provides the context and the ecclesial foundation for multiple parochial services and a number of Holy Cross sponsored institutions which are the means and instruments for the elaboration and execution of programs, projects and activities of the mission. The parish covers a population of approximately 260,000 and is administratively and geographically divided into 19 ecclesial “Chapel Communities”, some of which appear more like small parishes in other parts of the Congregation, and each of which provides sacramental and social service to the local population and has its own administrative structure including a chapel administrator;

Fe y Alegría No. 25 School. The Congregation is directly responsible for the administration of Colegio Fe y Alegría No. 25, founded in 1977 by Holy Cross in conjunction with the International Fe y Alegría Movement which provides the overall organization for a quality value-based education for families which live in setting of poverty and exclusion. There are 2,000 students in attendance distributed among initial, primary, secondary and special education. The school offers a humanities education with strong technical-professional area;

Pastoral Institute. The Patrick Peyton Center, located in the heart of Canto Grande, is among other things, the home of the Pastoral Institute for the Family (INFAM). Institute teams do research on family and develop programs for the support and strengthening of family life and provide training to put them into practice. Though it is located in Canto Grande and serves the needs of Holy Cross apostolates in the area, INFAM reaches beyond the diocese, civic organizations, and NGO´s. Topics include domestic and gang violence, substance abuse, family support groups, and a variety of other issues that affect the family;

Yancana Huasy. In the heart of the work the Holy Cross does in Canto Grande is a Center known as Yancana Huasy, a place where people with disabilities, especially children, receive direct attention from a professional staff while their families who are the first care-givers are included in the circle of support. In 2011 Yancana Huasy celebrated 30 years of existence and has grown from  training people in income-producing skills to a center providing integrated support to persons with special needs and their families. The center has created a new perception and mentality concerning persons with disabilities and their families, and inserts both into the surrounding community.

Rosary Apostolate. The Apostolate carries on the mission of solidifying the family by uniting its members in prayer. The office develops printed materials, radio programs, workshops, classes, literary-artistic competitions for schools and provides for the distribution of Spanish-speaking materials produced by Family Theater.

Hermano Andres Clinic. The Policlinico Hermano Andres and the newer Policlinico Jesus Nazareno (created in 2010) provide health care, essential medical specialties and the latest medical technology. These facilities are now self-financing and the modest earnings allow for them to address cases of extreme poverty and the financing of extensive community education campaigns in the prevention and early detection of  “poverty sickness and diseases” in the area.

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival.

Students are expected to assist the teachers and professionals responsible for the education of children with special needs at the Fe y Alegria School. ISSLP students can also support elementary, middle and high school classes in English, math, science, literature and arts. At the same time, the students are expected to assist with the design and implementation of different activities that take place in the Señor de la Esperanza Parish during the weekends.

Depending on the interests and/or major of the students, it is possible to schedule some hours during the week to do some work at Yancana Huasi (the Center for children with special needs and their families).

During summer 2014, the ISSLP students supported the classes for children with special needs at the Fe y Alegria School. In 2015 and 2016, students worked part time at the school and part time at Yancana Huasi Center. At the school, ISSLP students supported the classes for children with special needs, taught English and worked in special projects. At Yancana Huasi Center, the students also supported the teachers and health professionals working with people with disabilities.

In addition, the parish has developed during the last year a new art project, in which music and art opportunities are provided to the youth and children in the Canto Grande Area.  All programs in this initiative are made available to ensure the youth and children have opportunities for cultural expression, especially where there might otherwise be financial obstacles.  The program also aims to bring a community together through music and the visual arts. The ISSLP students have the opportunity to participate and support some of the activities of this new project if interested in arts and music.

For summer 2017, students will have the opportunity to continue supporting the work at the Fe y Alegria School, and at Yancana Huasi.

Students are expected to participate fully in the spiritual and communal life of the Holy Cross priests in Lima and are encouraged to share their unique gifts and talents in service of the people and mission of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

Housing & Lodging Information:

Students live in the Formation House with the Holy Cross priests and seminarians and live in community which includes sharing meals, prayer, and Mass together.  While the priests are very hospitality oriented and welcoming, it is important for students to remember that they are guests in the priests’ home and should be respectful and helpful with household chores.  Students are provided rooms with a bed, desk, and a small wardrobe.  Meals are provided at the Formation House and are prepared by cooks who are employed by Holy Cross.  This site can accommodate a vegetarian diet but students should be respectful of what is served to them if invited to visit school and parish families. 

For More Information:

Visit official Holy Cross Websites:;;

Former ISSLP Participants:

Simon Brake’18 (ISSLP 2016),
Greg Perenich’18 (ISSLP 2016), – Abroad Fall 2016

Notice: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process.