Hello families and friends!
As you are likely aware, our group has been temporarily relocated to the beautiful country of Peru due to civil and political unrest in our beloved Bolivia. It has been quite a transition. We all miss Bolivia and hope that things will return to normal soon so we can eventually return to our second home, where we were treated as nothing but family and welcomed with open arms.
We left Tiquipaya late Sunday night (11/10) and since then have been embarking on a new adventure in Southeastern Perú. We arrived in Cusco Monday morning, and are in awe of this incredibly beautiful and historic city. Our next three weeks will include the following progression:
November 11-November 15 / CUSCO
Cusco was the historic capital of the Incan Empire from the 13th to 16th centuries. In 1983, Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The group has been wandering around the Cusco streets and learning about the great Incan civilization.
November 15 / CUSCO to OLLANTAYTAMBO to AGUAS CALIENTES
On Friday we will head to Ollantaytambo, a city in the Sacred Valley where we will board the train towards Aguas Calientes, also known as ‘Machu Picchu Pueblo.’ We will spend the night in Aguas Calientes so we are close to Machu Picchu and can get an early start to our explorations the following day.
November 16 / MACHU PICCHU to OLLANTAYTAMBO
Saturday the group will spend the entirety of the day at Machu Picchu ruins, exploring the polished, dry-stone walls of the citadel. In the evening the group will take a train back to Ollantaytambo where we will spend the night.
November 17-November 18 / URUBAMBA
On Sunday morning the group will head to Urubamba where we will take a couple of days to rest and to prepare for the upcoming trek.
November 19- November 22 / LARES TREK
On Tuesday, we will begin our 4-day Lares trek. The Lares trekking route transverses typical Peruvian Andean mountain regions and The Lares Valley is located in the eastern portion of the Urubamba mountain range, traversing a section of the Sacred Valley. On the last day of the trek, we will head to the town of Pisac.
November 23 / PISAC
On Saturday the group will wake up in the town of Pisac, a community situated on the Vilcanota River. Pisac is well known for its Incan ruins and agricultural terraces. We will explore and get some much deserved post-trek rest in Pisac for another day and night before heading to Parque de la Papa.
November 24 to November 26 / PARQUE DE LA PAPA HOMESTAYS
The Parque de la Papa is an organization of four communities, with approximately 6,000 community members, that is located in the highlands of the Sacred Valley. Their collective work is oriented towards the preservation of agricultural biodiversity and the retention of Indigenous culture. The group will spend 3 nights in homestays and students will be invited to help in the harvesting of potatoes. There will also be an opportunity to learn about traditional dances and weaving.
November 27 to December 3 / URUBAMBA
The group will arrive back in Urubamba and will settle down with a continued focus on Spanish studies, community integration and other essential program components.
We look forward to our upcoming adventures!
Veronica and Alan