Dear family and friends,
We have been receiving regular updates from the team, and all is well on their 5-day excursion in the mystical Nación Q’eros territory. Two days ago, the group participated in a traditional Pachamanka ceremony, involving an animal sacrifice and feast with the whole village. Students helped construct an underground hot stone oven in which the meat was prepared, and enjoyed a meal of alpaca and a wide variety of potatoes with community members. Our dear friend and guide, Siwar Qenti, has been sharing stories with the group about the history of the Q’eros people, who trace their lineage directly back to the Inca and have inhabited this remote territory since the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century. Yesterday, Siwar led the students in a powerful cleansing ceremony on a sacred high alpine lake, and has been sharing his wisdom and knowledge with the group as a Q’eros elder and spiritual leader.
Students have been sharing homestays in pairs in small villages along their trek, where homes consist of small stone huts and dirt floors. These are among the most remote and rugged homestays we offer in South America, providing students with a unique glimpse into the lives and worldview of traditional Andean communities.
The group should be wrapping up their trek today, so expect student updates in the next couple of days!