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A young arriero leads a mule across fresh snow in the Peruvian Andes. Photo by Benjamin Swift (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist), South America Semester.


Queridxs estudiantes

We hope you are doing well and getting excited for our journey in The Andes!

After our (Instructors) personal introduction Yaks now it’s your turn! We want to start getting to know you better. Before we meet in Chile in a few weeks, we invite you to engage in the following tasks so that you and your groupmates will all be on the same page!

Post an introduction Yak!

We want to know who you are. Please post a short introduction Yak of yourself within the next 7 days answering the following questions:

  1. Introductions tend to go the same every time, like this: “My name is Martín Vizcarra and I’m from Moquegua, Perú. I went to school at IEP Juan XXIII and the GUE Simón Bolívar. I’ve never been to Chile before but I’ve been to Costa Rica, where people also speak Spanish…” So, without telling us where you are from, where you go to school, your major life achievements, or where you have traveled, please tell us briefly: who are you?
  2. What are the things you are most eager to experience and to learn about on this course?
  3. What is your favorite thing about mountains?
  4. Make sure to post a picture of yourself with the Yak.

Watch and Learn about Las Cholitas Escaldoras

Please take sometime to learn about some of the amazing people that live in and with the Andes, Las Cholitas Escaladoras with this video

Read/Watch the Following and Reflect

  1. Please read “Why We Travel,” by Pico Iyer. Pico is a phenomenal writer, traveler, philosopher and human being. As you read, make note of what strikes you, what resonates or doesn’t. You will discuss this piece of prose with your instructor teams when you settle down in-country. Find essay here:
  2. Also for inspiration from our very own Tim Hare, please read this

Brush up on your Spanish!

Five minutes a day of thinking, writing, speaking, or listening to Spanish goes a long way to warm up the parts of the brain that like to adapt to new grammatical structures, sounds, and words. Maybe just listen to the same Spanish song every day with a sheet of lyrics and start to sing along. Even if you have never spoken a word of Spanish, hearing and saying those sounds will help get the ball rolling. Activate those neural pathways!

Un abrazo,

Lxs Instructorxs

Ps- more info with packing tips and tricks will be coming shortly to the YAK board!