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Photo by Ryan Kost, Andes & Amazon Semester.

Precourse Assignments

Hola Estudiantes!

In addition to practicing your Spanish, reading up on current events in Latin America and breaking in your hiking shoes we have a few assignments we’d like you all to get done before we all meet up in Cusco.

Part 1: Please introduce yourself here on our Yak Board. Its nice to know a little bit about your fellow travelers before we meet. Just a paragraph or two (or twenty) about who you are, where you’re from, why you decided to do a program in South America, etc. Thanks!

Part 2: Itinerary

Have you had a chance to look over our itinerary yet? We want you to take ownership of this course. Really get to know the places we’ll be visiting. You’ll see below that each of you has been assigned to research one of the locations we will be visiting. As we talk about the itinerary during orientation it will be your responsibility to give some additional information about the place you were assigned. Be prepared to give a short (3-5 minute) presentation/overview of your location at orientation. Things to include: Important history and current events (bonus points if you print off articles for your peers to read), basic info about the location (altitude, climate, etc) and fun facts/noteworthy things to see in that area. *If you’re partnered up with someone or your places are closely related (i.e. Cochabamba & Tiquipaya) you can both do your independent research but present together if you desire, you will have 15 minutes or so to collaborate together before you’d have to present.

Urubamba- Quincy & Christina

Ocongate and Ausangate Trek- Karim

Cusco- Zoey & Joseph

Machu Picchu- Nathanael

Cochabamba- Lola

Tiquipaya- Phoebe

Llampu Circuit Trek- Chase

Bolivian Amazon- Teva & Bella

Rurrenabaque- Ryan

Part 3: Games

Your third assignment, to be prepared before you meet up with everyone, is to come up with a game we can play as a group. You will each have an opportunity to facilitate your game sometime during the early days of our course.

Your game could be an ice-breaker, used to get to know each other better; or something energetic, to wake us up after a big meal or a long day’s travel. It could be a card game that you can teach your peers and they can then share in their home-stays, or a word game we can play while we hike. Games can be active and moving, or stationary and contemplative. They can be educational or just plain silly.

Your game should be inclusive of the entire group, students and instructors, and ideally also our local guides or hosts (we can help with translation if need be), so between 16-20 people. Please keep the games appropriate – if we are grouped up and acting silly in a game of charades we will likely draw an audience, which is totally fine, but let’s be cognizant of remaining respectful to anyone watching while still having fun. Remember also that we will be getting to know each other during this time. Use your game as a way to empower comfort and sharing while still respecting each other’s differences and boundaries.

Also, get creative! You can draw inspiration from literally anywhere. Games you’ve played at camp, in Spanish class or at school, games you’ve played with your family or friends. It can be a classic or something you just invented.

To help you prepare and to help us fit your games into our daily plans please answer these questions. Come prepared to Cusco with your answers written down and ready to share with instructors:

–> What’s the name of the game?

–> What type of game is this? What is the goal? (Ice-breaker, energizer, team building, language learning, fun, brain teaser, etc.)

–> How much time do we need to learn and play this game? (These could be 5-15 minute games, or they could be longer. They could even be games that are played over the course of a few days! We just want to know your timing to help us fit it into the schedule.)

–> Any props? (Cards, pen, paper, rubber chicken…)

–> What is the best setting for my game? (Inside, outside, lots of space, need a table or chairs?)

Thank you in advance for putting some creative energy into this! Let’s build a group culture that really represents us all, and that we are proud to share with those we meet along the way.

-Zack, Paola and Cat