Iona in Mission: Students Immerse Themselves in Service in Peru

Students live the Iona mission of Blessed Edmund Rice and the Christian Brothers

Service-Learning News

Seven Iona University students recently had the experience of a lifetime serving in Peru as part of Iona in Mission. From the city of Lima to the mountains of Jicamarca, students immersed themselves in the local culture while walking hand in hand with the poor and marginalized of society in keeping with the mission of Blessed Edmund Rice and the Christian Brothers.

“We are all called to be more like Christ,” said Ryan Murphy ’25, campus minister. “Through this mission, we were able to walk with the poor and be part of their community, which is really how Jesus lived, and that’s how I’m hoping to embrace this trip and continue it into my life.” 

As part of the immersion, Iona students built a home for a family in need at the top of a mountain village in Jicamarca. Students also ran a camp for the children and families of the village, offering a chance for all to come together around fun and friendship.

In downtown Lima, meanwhile, students lived out the calling of Pope Francis’ Laudato si’ by planting vegetable, herb and flower gardens around the Christian Brothers’ home and beautifying the city streets through environmental stewardship.

“I’m proud of everything that we’ve done, but I’m most proud of the house that we built,” said Cara Donnelly ’25, campus minister and trip leader. “Going there and seeing that we still needed to carve out some of the mountain, and then actually building and assembling the house, painting it and putting it together, I’m just so proud of this group of students who didn’t know each other before this trip and the work that we’ve done.”

Reflecting on the experience, students agreed it was a life-changing trip that opened their hearts and minds while expanding the limits of what they thought was possible.

So many times here at Iona, we talk about the three values that are the heart of the mission of Iona University. They are values that form the spirituality of Blessed Edmund Rice and the Christian Brothers. They are presence, compassion and liberation,” said Fr. Gerard Mulvey, OFM Cap., trip moderator. “These values come alive for the students and take on a whole new meaning when they participate in an Iona in Mission trip like Peru. I saw this take place in our trip to Peru this year.”

Congratulations to the following students and moderators on a successful immersion: 

  • Chaneil Barnett ’27
  • Cara Donnelly ’25
  • Noelia Lagos ’26MA
  • Olivia Murillo ’25
  • Ryan Murphy ’25
  • Julia Souza ’24
  • Colton Tuma ’24MA
  • Diana Costello, senior director of communications, moderator
  • Fr. Gerard Mulvey, OFM Cap., moderator

Watch more about the Peru immersion below or visit Iona in Mission to learn more about upcoming opportunities through the Office of Mission & Ministry. 

2024 Photo Gallery

From the mountain village of Jicamarca to the capital city of Lima, Iona students immersed themselves in the vibrant culture of Peru while serving the poor and marginalized of society. 

Students in a mountain village in Peru.
Participants enjoy an evening meal in the mountains of Peru.
Students work in the mountains of Peru.
Students in Lima, Peru for Iona in Mission.
Particpants enjoying a meal in a restaurant in Peru.

Founded in 1940, Iona University is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of more than 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona students enjoy small class sizes, engaged professors and a wide array of academic programs across the School of Arts & Science; LaPenta School of Business; NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences; and Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Iona is widely recognized in prestigious rankings, including The Princeton Review’s 2024 national list of “The Best 389 Colleges” and The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse’s “2024 Best Colleges in America,” which ranked Iona at #66 in the nation overall and #8 in the nation among Catholic schools. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is also accredited by AACSB International, a recognition awarded to just six percent of business schools worldwide. In addition, The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2023.” Iona also offers a fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, which is now principally located on Iona’s Bronxville campus in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian. Connecting to its Irish heritage, the University also recently announced it is expanding abroad with a new campus in County Mayo, Ireland. A school on the rise, Iona officially changed its status from College to University on July 1, 2022, reflecting the growth of its academic programs and the prestige of an Iona education.