I participated in Peruvian Immersion in May 2016. Not only did I get the opportunity to improve and learn Spanish language skills in medical and social settings but I really felt I got an inside experience into Peruvian culture. Peruvian immersion was able to cater an individualized program to my interests and abilities. I loved everything Arequipa, a city shadowed by two beautiful volcanoes and carved out of white sillar rock, had to offer as a home base to explore the south of Peru. The food was incredible and the clinicians, home stay family, and everyone else I met were extremely welcoming.
Max Harris – Vail, CO
The Peruvian Immersion program surpassed my expectations and challenged me in more ways than one. As an EMT and a beginner in Spanish, I was skeptical about how much I could help in a hospital given the language barrier and the differences in health care in Peru. However, Peruvian Immersion was extremely accommodating to what I wanted to get out of their program. They catered the one-on- one Spanish lessons to my level so that I was able to learn at my own pace and understand Spanish that is related to the medical field. The challenge of having a strong language barrier at the hospital and at my homestay pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to learn Spanish by hearing and speaking it. At the hospital, I was able to choose which department I wanted to work in and was warmly welcomed onto the team of doctors and nurses.
By the end of the two weeks, I felt like a member of their team! They utilized my skills, trusted me with their patients, taught me about health issues in Peru, and inspired me to continue working in the medical field.
Through this experience, I have gained a new family through my homestay mother and sister, friends from the hospital, and through the amazing team at Peruvian Immersion. The 15-day program had the perfect combination of clinical work at the hospital, experiential and classroom learning environments to learn Spanish, and unique touristic experiences that made me feel like a local. I enjoyed every moment of the program from the food, scenery, music and people in Arequipa, to the humbling and eye opening medical campaign in Orurillo, Puno. My time in Peru allowed me to grow and challenge myself in new ways that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
If you are considering a Peruvian Immersion program, take one. If a Peruvian Immersion program has never crossed your mind, take one. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
Lee Erickson – Vail, CO
This spring, May 2018, I had the opportunity to go to Peru with this program. As a young female student with basic level Spanish I was nervous when I started the adventure. However, my host family and the program director were very welcoming. They brought me into their families and made me feel comfortable in a place that was outside of my comfort zone. Through my host family and my work as a volunteer at a local clinic my Spanish skills greatly improved. By the end I was able to understand and communicate much more effectively than when I first arrived. I even had a few doctors tell me how surprised they were that my Spanish skills increased so rapidly! At the clinic I was able to create relationships with many doctors and they were very willing to explain medicine and ethical issues that their culture faces and answer any question I had.
The experiential tourism was also incredibly beautiful and a nice break from volunteering and learning Spanish in a classroom. I got to meet some amazing people, locals and other South Americans, on the trip to Colca Canyon and make lasting memories. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in the health profession. It was definitely a worthwhile experience being able to immerse myself in a different culture, and to see health professions in other countries. It was incredible to see the impact that doctors and nurses were able to make in other peoples’ lives. I truly enjoyed my experience with Peruvian Immersion and it changed my life in ways that I will carry with me into the future.
Kelly Lenneman – Boulder, CO
I just finished a 10 week Spanish Immersion with this program and I cant even begin to tell you how miraculous it turned out to be. This program tailored my 10 weeks to fit me and what would work best for my learning. I think that is what was the most incredible part of it. I wanted a company that would teach me Spanish, immerse me into the culture and allow me the chance to help the Peruvian people in need.This company did that and much more. I got the most impressive Spanish lessons at a very quaint school that taught me according to my learning style with one on one lessons. I stayed with a loving, caring host family that took me in as one of their own. I was always looked after everyday by the program with daily check ins and updates. I honestly have no idea how I got so lucky to fall into this program. I cant put into words what this program did for me. My life will forever be better because of this 10 week program. I did not just learn Spanish, I learned the Peruvian life, I gained new friends and family, and I learned strength that I had within myself. Learning a new language is hard but at the same time so rewarding. I love being able to communicate with my patients and their families. Now that is priceless.
Lindsey Bischoff – Vail, CO
Peruvian Immersion hosted myself and 3 of my dental hygiene students this past June. What an experience! The hospital stay was comfortable, clean, safe, and convenient for our dental campaign work. The hospital staff were so kind and accommodating. While in Arequipa we enjoyed visiting the museum to see Juanita, toured the vast market, shopped in the square, and helped a local chef prepare us a gourmet meal! Our excursion to the Colca Canyon allowed us to learn about the Peruvian culture, tour the beautiful area, and celebrate with the locals. My students could not stop talking about how welcoming the people were. The desire to share Peruvian culture as much as possible is the reason Ethel is so good at what she does! She is flexible with wants/needs and works hard to make sure you have an authentic experience. Our university is excited to continuing working with her each year and our plans for next year are already underway! I highly recommend Peruvian Immersion for any school groups, dental/medical providers, or anyone wanting to experience the real Peru!
Amy N. Smith, RDH, MS, MPH
Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dental Hygiene
Northern Arizona University Dental Hygiene Program
Thanks to Ethel I had the best experience I could of possibly had in Peru! It was 10 days full of fun and learning! She is the sweetest person and always made sure we were comfortable, safe, and enjoying ourselves. Being able to offer dental hygiene services to those in need and improve my skills was a valuable experience. This is a great program and I absolutely recommend it!!
Luisa Bajo, Dental Hygiene Student
Peruvian Immersion provided me an amazingly organized and fun experience. The Peru Crew was provided with so many awesome events and activities that really helped us not only learn about a new culture, but also feel apart of it. I am SO thankful for Ethel Lazarte Gonzales and all her help. She is so sweet and full of wisdom! We could not have done this trip without her. I highly recommend working with this organization and learning all about their amazing country!
Mikayla Hamel, Dental Hygiene Student
Peruvian Immersion allowed for me to experience the rich and beautiful culture of Peru while getting to practice and learn Spanish. It provided a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to become a better clinician and gain Spanish speaking skills and memories that I will keep with me forever.
Chloe Noelle Strike, Dental Hygiene Student