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

Technology Yak

Greetings Students,

You know that rectangular device you carry around in your pocket all day? The same one you pat your legs incessantly when you forget it at home? Well as you are probably aware, this device known as the “smartphone” will not be allowed during the duration of the program. No, we are not trying to torture you, we simply believe that for you to be fully present in our experience it’s best you don’t have the world’s problems at your fingertips. So, with the support of Dragons Admin we’d like to present a list of approved/not approved electronic devices.

  • Not permitted: Cell phones, music players, computers, iPads, other tablets, or iPod Touch
  • Permitted: Cameras and Kindle books only (none with phone/internet/wifi capabilities).

Please note: If students arrive on course with any of the non-permitted items they will be held by the instructors for the remainder of the course. Instructors are not responsible for items that are lost, stolen or damaged. We prefer not having to lug your stuff around all semester, and you won’t be able to use those items at any point during the course.

For permitted items moderation is key. If students are using permitted items to remove themselves from the experience the instructors will talk with that student. If the action continues, the item(s) will be held by the instructors. We understand and respect how important access to technology may be for you. However we ask that you trust the process. At the end of courses students always mention how thankful they were to be disconnected from technology. In both countries we will be visiting you’ll have sufficient opportunities to connect with friends and family via internet cafes and pay phones. On average students are able to connect to the internet about once a week.

A couple commonly asked questions:

1) If I deactivate my phone can I still use it as my camera and music player?

Response: We acknowledge that smartphones can wear many hats but we’ve found that even a deactivated phone has incredible potential to alter your experience. So to be clear, phones in any form will not be allowed.

The same goes for iPod Touches, since they are basically the same as a deactivated phone.

2.) I’m worried about my connecting flights before/after the trip. Can I bring my phone for that?

Response: Yes, you can but we encourage you to try it without your phone because as soon as you meet us in Cusco we will collect the phone. To ensure that your travels go smoothly we recommend you carry a hard copy of all required flight information and a physical list of important numbers (i.e. your emergency contacts and the Dragons office’s number 001-303-413-0822). Remember you can always ask airport personnel for help if needed.

For family and friends back home, know that the instructor team will be in regular communication with the Dragons Boulder office (even while on treks and in remote communities). Throughout the semester you can contact the Boulder office and they will quickly forward questions on to us, and keep an eye on our Yak Board for exciting updates every few of days.

Your Instructor Team!