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Affluent, Boston-based college students embark on a weeklong goodwill trip to the slums of Lima, Peru in this story about the phenomenon of volunteer vacations—also known as "voluntourism" or service trips—which have fast become both a hallmark of global citizenry and a point of controversy for socially conscious millenials. In their attempts to teach English and work with developmentally disabled children, the students must confront the reality of their work and whether or not it’s creating positive change. A fresh take on a classic moral dilemma, H.O.P.E. Was Here deals with the intersection of privilege and poverty by asking what it really means to help people.
Peace of Me: Reflections of Service and Self Discovery is now available on Amazon. It's the book by Stonehill alum Travis Kumph that inspired H.O.P.E. Was Here. The first Amazon review of the book earned 5 stars:
"Peace of Me: Reflections of Service and Self Discovery' is fantastic. Throughout the book, Kumph's descriptions of life in impoverished sections of Lima, Peru brought back so many vivid memories of my time spent in the developing world. His love of service and the people of Peru is evident, meeting the reader on each and every page. I also appreciated the stories of other volunteers included in the book as they demonstrated that it does not matter how many times you have engaged in service work, it can still make a lasting impression on your life and the lives of all you encounter. I would highly recommend this book for anyone considering a service trip or returned volunteers."
Cover artwork by Michelle Curtis, member of H.O.P.E. Peru 2012.
If you're interested in H.O.P.E. Was Here and the themes it explores, I think you'll find Travis' personal journey in Peace of Me to be a wonderful compliment to the film.