Salpointe's President Kay Sullivan and Principal Sr. Helen Timothy, IBVM traveled to Lima, Peru to attend the Carmelites Secondary Schools Commission. They met representatives from Carmelite schools from across North and South America and students at several schools in Peru.
Sr. Helen reflected on her experience:
The opportunity to visit the colonial heart of the capital city of Peru was an inspiring adventure! Our daily travels around Lima offered panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean surrounded by historic neighborhoods of Spanish architecture that dated the 4th century A.D. While the purpose of our trip was to participate in an educational conference with all member schools from North and South America, we did experience the "soul" of Lima daily.
The conference was hosted by Carmelitas in Miraflores. This thriving Pre-K - high school facility is in central Lima and is considered one of the finest schools in South America. All of our academic meetings and presentations were held on the campus. The hospitality of Carmelitas was remarkable. The new friendships will last a lifetime.
Our four days allowed for visits to other Carmelite facilities. Barranco is a parish school opened in 2005. The school is at capacity and creatively uses every inch of floor space for education. Their commitment to Carmelite values permeates all of their activities.
We left the lush central city and ventured out to the desert region of Jose Galvez. The hour-long drive allowed us to witness the abject poverty of this area of Lima. Rising from the desert sand was Colegio Nuestra Salvador, the Carmelite K-high school facility, including a school for children with developmental disabilities. This campus of 30 classrooms, computer lab, large library and football field is truly the "heart" of the community. The school instituted a creative family involvement based on the symbols in the Carmelite shield. All 1200 students and their families welcomed us with a beautiful cultural show.
After a brief visit to San Jose, a drug treatment facility run by the Carmelites, we returned to Miraflores.
The conference allowed all of the members to share the details of our mission and commitment to the Carmelite charism of prayer, community and service. We were inspired by the happiness of the children we met and the dedication of their teachers and administrators.
The Carmelites are 820 years old and thriving today around the world... from Tucson to Lima, 3,790 miles!