Peruvian students leave impact

Photo by Manuel Mata-Flores ’19 | Ryan Schmit’19 talks to his preuvian student, insert name here, over a book in his ethics class during period one on Friday Feb. 16, 2018.

By Cameron Henderson-Cole ’20


Peruvian students came to Arizona and lived the life of a Brophy student from Feb. 3 to Feb. 19.

After their time in Arizona, some travelved to Los Angeles or others returned home. Just how the Peruvians came to Arizona, Brophy students go to the where their exchange student lives over the summer.

The Brophy students go to school with them, sight-see and learn the Peruvian culture just like they learned the Brophy and American one.

Mr. Richard Cordova, spanish teacher and one of the adults part of the exchange experience explains the importance behind mentoring and setting an example for the Peruvian student.

“It gives them the perspective of the American life,” he said.

The Peruvian students not only learn the American way of life, but also the high school life of a Brophy student.

Mr. Cordova says the experience has a meaningful impact and is critical because the Peruvian students are able to practice their English, and vice versa.

Mr. Cordova says it positively affects individual Brophy students.

“It shows leadership,” he said. “It shows he cares. It models men for others.”

Mr. Cordova said he wishes the technology of the Peruvian students was taken away so “full immersion” could be achieved.

Cooper Watkins ’20 said he never thought he could become so close to a person in such a short time.

The Peruvian students left on Monday, Feb. 19th, and Watkins said it was a difficult experience for him because he said he viewed his Peruvian exchange student, Renato, as his brother and best friend.

“I feel that I am more culturally aware with my surroundings and the other people in different countries,” Watkins said.

If anything could be improved for the future, Watkins said he wishes he had more time to show his Peruvian the more exciting locations and activities in Arizona.

“I wish I had more time or it was during winter break,” he said.

He said that he would have liked to have taken Renato to places like Luke Air Force Base or Spring Training instead of taking him to school everyday. However, Watkins definitely recommends the Peruvian exchange process.

Eamon McGarry ’20 also recommended the Peruvian exchange experience.

McGarry said the Peruvian experience taught him to interact with a complete stranger who did not speak fluent English. His Peruvian student was named Joaquin.

It also taught him how to open his house to a stranger and treat them kindly.

McGarry said he wishes the exchange students had stayed longer.

“It was too short of a time for him to experience a lot of American activities,” he said.

From the Peruvian standpoint and Brophy student standpoint, both are learning from each other the experience is not a one-sided mentorship.

Mrs. Sue Hornbeck, who went on the Manresa retreat with the Brophy and Peruvian students said the retreat let them really get to know each other better.

“They might have spent the majority of the time just being with their exchange student but now they can meet the others,” Mrs. Hornbeck said.

Mrs. Hornbeck also said the Manresa experience left a positive impact on the Peruvians.

“It taught them to have an open heart and a open mind,” said Mrs. Hornbeck.

“By just being there and explaining their culture that yes we are different but we are also so alike” said Mrs. Hornbeck

“They found in the end there was so much more likenesses than differences which I think was eye-opening for both” said Mrs. Hornbeck.