25th -28th June
After Lima, we took a night bus to a city called Trujillo north of Lima. We stayed for a couple days and visited the convent where my Aunt Sr Theresa McGuane worked over 20 years ago.
The first evening we dropped by the Convent where Theresa used to live. There we met with three Peruvian nuns who were very welcoming; Sr Juanita , Sr Erika and Sr Aura. Juanita told us the clinic where Theresa used work is now closed down; the area has developed since and is not as poor as it used to be.
Juanita on the left and Erika on the right of Paddy.
Juanita told us some stories of the great work that Theresa did when she was there. She was highly regarded by the local people. We saw a photo album with some pictures of Theresa.
Juanita took us on a tour of the convent. There is a little museum on site with the history of the Irish missionary nuns who came to Lima. It shows pictures and dates of when all the Irish nuns came to Lima. It also has some cute dolls which show how the Nuns outfits have changed over time.
The description written until the last doll says Habito Sport 1994 or sports habit.
Juanita showed us her office and a building next door to the convent which is used as a daycare centre for women. It also has a legal office to offer advice to women who are in difficulty in the home.The building has a spare undeveloped section, Juanita said it is her dream to develop it into short-term accommodation for women to come and stay in times of difficulty such as if they leave there husband due to domestic violence.
We signed a couple of books to register our visit. The Sisters gave us two Peruvian dolls; they are lovely and will be nice to have to remember our visit.
The next day, we went to visit Sr Immaculada (Immaculate), an Irish nun from Croom County Cork. We had lunch with her and she told us the history of the nuns working in Trujillo. She spoke about when Theresa and the other nuns worked during difficult times when there was political unrest in the country.
Sister Calixta joined us for lunch. She is a Peruvian nun who works with Drug addicts. We learned of the drug rehabilitation program provided by the nuns.
After lunch, Sr immaculada took us to Alto Trujillo, an area on the outskirts of the city where the poor people live. We took a taxi around the area stopping at different points where Immacudala explained what missionary works were taking place in the area.
We visited two child day care centers set up by the nuns and learned about the kitchens set up to feed children every day. We visited the technical college built by the nuns which runs many courses in cooking, shoe making, dress making etc.
We also saw a lovely library funded by an American. We stopped to visit a young man who was paralyzed from his hips down due to a bullet he received. He is now bed bound and has a young wife and child of one. It was sad to see. He used to drive a local bus.
We are grateful to Theresa for helping to arrange this unforgettable visit and the nuns for the great welcome.