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Andean priest and spiritual leader, Don Fabian Champi Apaza. Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

Condors, Pumas and Serpents: Tierra de los Andes

Hola familias!

After four incredible days of trekking in the Cordillera Blanca — in landscapes that were truly unbelievable on the Santa Cruz trail — we are back in the city of Huaraz, everyone healthy and happy. We all really felt that trekking was rejuvenating and energizing for us. We as a group were very sad and concerned about the political situation that we had to leave behind in Bolivia, but we really felt that spending time amidst majestic glaciers reminded us that there still is much beauty in the world, as well as lots of hope and love. Also, the students officially started their “x-phase” with this trek — meaning that the students themselves are now managing all of the logistics of the course themselves — with the support and guidance of us instructors, of course 🙂 We instructors feel very proud and humbled by the students — it is really obvious that they have learned a lot over the past few months and are now able to put it in practice themselves.

After visiting the land of pumas and condors, we are now ready to visit the land of the serpents — Pucallpa, in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. The students will continue with their “x-phase” in the following week, as we spend time with two Shipibo Indigenous communities along the Ucayali River. Tomorrow morning we will leave Huaraz in the morning and head to Pucallpa via bus, arriving the morning of the 26th. The morning of the 27th we will head to a community called Nueva Betania, where we will participate in a Shipibo dance festival and also learn about Amazonian intercultural education. On the 28th we will head to another community, called Santa Clara, where we will spend four days of homestay learning about Shipibo art, medicinal plants, and reforestation projects. We will return to Pucallpa on the 1st of December and fly to Lima on the morning of the 2nd, where we will conduct the final stage of our course (transference). We will have limited access to the internet and cell service during our time in the Amazon, but you can expect to hear from us around December 1st.

We continue enjoying the process of learning here in Peru. We will be in contact soon. In the meantime, AA B sends hugs!


Sandy, Ben and Jac (The Instructor Team)