Erin Laframboise, Student
Erin Laframboise was one of 13 students from Laurier who spent two weeks building 172 steps into the side of a mountain in the Peruvian Andes this summer. The tall task was part of the second annual humanitarian trip to Lima, Peru, organized by Laurier International and Solidarity in Action.
“I think these experiences are good for students because you learn more about social justice issues and the people who are affected by them than you could in a textbook,” says Laframboise, a fourth-year psychology major and Solidarity in Action veteran.
She says her first trip to Peru was one of the most amazing experiences of her life, so she jumped at the chance to go back as a student leader and trip assistant and help others have the same eye-opening experience.
“I learned so much about social justice, Latin American culture, teamwork, leadership, and myself,” she says. “When given the opportunity to go again and to be able to share the experience with fellow Laurier students, I couldn’t say no!”
In addition to helping a Peruvian community construct much-needed stairs down the mountainside, each student brought a suitcase filled with dental products, medical supplies, soaps and shampoos, toys, or books. They also took Spanish lessons each day and participated in cultural activities.
“You start off as a group of strangers from all backgrounds but it is incredible to see everyone come together as a team,” says Laframboise. “At the end of the trip, it is amazing to hear the ways people plan to keep social justice a part of their everyday lives.”