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

Packing – “El Equipaje”

Hola a [email protected]!

We hope preparations for your upcoming adventure to Peru and Bolivia are going great! We can’t wait to meet you in Cusco in a few weeks and would like to make sure that you’re bringing the necessary clothing, gear, and belongings that will allow you to have a comfortable and safe visit to the Andes and the Amazon.

Make sure you have read the Clothing and Equipment list on page 33 of your Course Preparation Manual for Students. If you want to purchase more warm layers, keep in mind that the local markets in Peru and Bolivia have great stuff at a great value, so please don’t worry too much. If there is a need for a cheap poncho or a wool Peruvian sweater or one of those cool colorful Andean hats, we can do a little shopping during our first week.

We want you to think about what is culturally appropriate in the communities we will visit in the Andes and the Amazon, at the same time we want you to be conscious of your needs for warm layers (while we are in the mountains) and light and easy-to-dry when we are in the Amazon (also think about mosquitos and protection for your skin – having a long sleeve top layer that is light for the Amazon is pretty key). We will have some time in towns, so pack a pair of jeans or pants, and/or a skirt that you may want to wear. We also recommend that you bring small bottles /packs of personal and hygiene products, we will be able to get more if you need them in the local markets.

We also wanted to mention — although the official packing list says no leggings, this is outdated. Feel free to bring leggings if that is something you usually wear. There may be a few times throughout the course in which it will be more appropriate to not wear them, but we will let you know in advance and those times will be few and far between.

We would also recommend that you bring pictures of your family, pets, friends, house, town, state, etc so when you are with your host families or interacting with another member of the community, you can share with them your life back home and help them understand your culture and upbringings. It will be also very nice at the end of your stays to leave a small but meaningful gift to them, so they can remember you (it doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive, a postcard, a photo, a souvenir from your town or state will do magic).

There will also be plenty of opportunities to exchange some of our knowledge and skills with the communities, so if you know how to make bracelets, origami, draw with pens and markers, or any other form of arts and crafts, bring what is necessary to share your craft. We promise they will be so excited to learn from you!

Last but not least, keep in mind the weight and the limited space you have in your backpack for clothing and gear, you will have to be able to carry everything by yourself while moving from town to town and country to country (but can store things for treks and other excursions). If you have questions about some of your choices, feel free to get in touch with us! We will be contacting each one of you in not too long to set up a time to talk pre-course (if we haven’t already), so you will have that chance as well!

Feliz dia!