The Magis Peru Immersion Experience is an experiential deep dive into what it means to be part of the Jesuit mission in the world.
Georgetown University’s Office of Mission and Ministry and the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ) recently concluded their fourth annual Peru Immersion Experience, a 10-day trip that allows Georgetown faculty and staff to learn more about their Jesuit family abroad.
Faculty toured Antonio Ruiz de Montoya (UARM), a Jesuit university in Lima, Peru, meeting with faculty and local leaders there as well as local churches, schools, and nonprofits. They also saw the community’s sustainable tourism and farming initiatives, finding inspiration in how these individuals enact Jesuit principles.
“I experienced in a vivid way the power of joining with, listening to, and learning from a community that is not your own,” shares Andrew M. Koenig, director of special programs for Georgetown’s Office of the President.
Participating faculty members also forged bonds with one another.
“Nobody knew each other before. We all came from dif- ferent departments and different levels of seniority within Georgetown,” says Sonia Alonso, associate professor of government at Georgetown University in Qatar. “By the end of the trip, we had become a fantastic team and a well-knit community! Magis Peru is a great way to build community among Georgetown staff and faculty.”
One of the program’s anonymous donors says the idea is for faculty and senior staff to “see firsthand the work that the Church and the Jesuits are doing for those living on the margins.”
For the latter half of the trip, the group traveled high in the Andes to Cusco, the ancient city of the Incas where life moves at a slower pace. The mountain scenery of the Sacred Valley and interaction with indigenous farming families allowed faculty and staff to reflect deeply about their personhood as well as how they can better contribute to their community and Georgetown’s mission.
“I’ve never understood better or felt closer to Georgetown’s Jesuit mission than I do now,” adds Matthew Pavesich, associate teaching professor in the Department of English and associate director of Georgetown’s writing program. “In discussions with Jesuits and meetings with community and project leaders, I found resonance with my own commitments to community, social justice, engagement, and ethics.”
For the first time this year, Georgetown was able to offer a similar immersion program to their UARM partners in Washington, D.C., to strengthen the dimensions of their partnership. These immersive experiences help faculty discover that even though they speak different languages from those they encounter, they all speak Ignatian.