Development Corps is a week-long Service Learning Trip that allows students interested in architecture, engineering, and community development to work hand in hand with local professionals and community members on a project site in a community just outside Lima. Devote your time to constructing sustainable solutions to development issues impoverished communities in Peru face every day. Participants could participate on a number of developmental projects this week: Public Green Spaces, Ecological Bathrooms, Staircases, and more.Find a Trip
Throughout the course of this week, you will participate in every component of MEDLIFE’s development project process. From the early planning stages where we host night meetings with communities to the construction and implementation of the projects, participants will have first-hand experience every step of the way.
Itinerary In Brief
Day 1: Arrival and overnight at local MEDLIFE hostel.
Day 2: Participate in an optional walking tour to familiarize yourself with the area and culture where you will be working with this week.
Day 3: Take an immersive Reality Tour through the Southern Cone of Lima where you will learn more about the geographical, political, and social realities of the region.
Days 4-6: Support the planning and execution of a community development project. One evening you’ll attend a night meeting, where you can observe our in-country staff in action, planning future development projects with community members.
Day 7: After putting the finishing touches on this week’s project, participate in a celebratory inauguration ceremony with the community.
Day 8: Explore more of your location on some of our optional itinerary add-ons or return home.
Itinerary In Detail
This specially designed MEDLIFE SLT offers the opportunity to get a first-hand look at community development in an impoverished community.
Start your trip with an optional walking tour of Miraflores led by a MEDLIFE Trip Leader. Participants will have the afternoon free to explore the area. Learn the route from your hotel to central landmarks, as well as the best places to exchange money, and restaurant and attraction recommendations you may take advantage of during your free time this week. Sunday night is dedicated to an orientation meeting where we will cover a history of Peru, what to expect for the week, safety precautions, and a brief training course on Development Corps.
The next day, take a Reality Tour of the impoverished communities surrounding Lima. This tour is meant to provide participants with their first immersive experience in the urban settlements in which MEDLIFE works. Throughout the tour, you’ll discuss the reasons for the mass-migration to Lima over the past several decade, and explore some of the challenges about living in these settlements. Additionally, you’ll learn about the challenges in the development of these communities, as they see different project that other NGOs and philanthropists have tried.
Once you have a thorough background of the communities in which you’ll be working, you are ready to start your project. The specific development project you will complete will depend on the size of your group and current needs of the community. Some possible projects include:
Public Green Spaces
Public Spaces are community common areas where anyone can circulate freely. These areas facilitates connections between residents and their community. More than a beautiful landscape, it’s a space where children can play, students can study, and families can relax. Due to Lima’s fast, informal occupation, the outlying communities were constructed quickly and without much urban planning – resulting in a lack of Public Green Spaces. This week you’ll help plan, design, and build a space like this side by side with community members.
In Peru, clean water and sanitation services have increased significantly in the last decade. However, there are still many rural areas that do not have adequate services. Ecological bathrooms are an eco friendly system that recycles nutrients and organic matter for soil enrichment and prevents the spread of diseases, keeping homes clean. They offer a healthy alternative to vulnerable families living in the impoverished communities outside Lima. Spend some time building these eco-friendly structures for families in need during your trip.
Listening to community needs is a vital component of our work. And when we listened, community members told us they needed staircases. Many of their residents are children and elderly, and it is too dangerous to walk up and down the steep dusty slopes. They have told us the endless stories of falls and injuries – making staircases an absolutely necessary community development project.
After a transformative week of development, add-on an optional tour or excursion. Head to some of the highlights of Peru on a Machu Picchu Getaway where you’ll journey through Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu. Or visit the biodiverse Amazon Jungle on this immersive 4-day extension trip through the rainforest.