Applications for summer 2021 are now closed.


Llama Pack Project
see info below

Course Details

July 14-July 31, 2021


Departure City


Partner School: $5285
Non-Partner School: $5485


We partner with the Llama Pack Project to conserve precious Andean ecosystems and deliver environmental education in local schools.

The SStS Peru course begins amidst the stunning mountain landscapes of the Sacred Valley near Cusco. The first days will be spent acclimatizing, exploring Urubamba, participating in various cultural activities, visiting archeological sites and learning about the Llama Pack Project, our non-profit partner. Although high-Andean communities in the Sacred Valley have rich cultural backgrounds rooted in breathtaking settings, many residents are forced to work in cities far from their homes. The Llama Pack Project works to reestablish the use of llamas as pack animals in these high Andean communities as a way to provide an attractive economic alternative to urban dwelling. In addition, the Llama Pack Project works to conserve the precious ecosystems of these communities through environmental education and conservation projects.

After spending the first two nights in Urubamba, SStS participants will have the chance to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu and learn about the impact of tourism in the area. The group will then return to Urubamba for two days while attending environmental workshops and preparing materials for their work in the communities.

Once acclimatized, the group will complete a three-day llama trek alongside members of the Guild of Llama Breeders, associates of the Llama Pack Project, to the town of Cuncani, spending the night at the remote villages of Cancha Cancha and Quishuarani along the way. After completing their trek, the group will have a day to rest and recover before working shoulder-to-shoulder with the community school of Cuncani for six days. In the mornings, the group will be teaching environmental education to local school children and then doing school repair work in the afternoons. In this striking setting, students will have the opportunity to consider what they have learned about ethical leadership before returning to Cusco to begin their journey home.

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A Glimpse Into Peru

Course Elements

The course elements are based on a rating from 1 to 5, 1 being the least rigorous, 5 being the most rigorous.

Students will be teaching environmental education to school children and doing maintenance at a local school.
Prior to their travels, students complete a series of online activities (30 minutes each). While traveling, they also read engaging articles, participate in cultural experiences, and create presentations in small groups.
Students will complete a 3 day 2 night trek to a high-Andean community. The group will carry packs as they hike through high-altitude mountainous terrain. It is critical that participants actively prepare prior to travel so they are physically fit.
During the first and last days of the course, the group will stay in a hostel for volunteers in shared rooms with bunks. While at the project sites, the students will stay in a simple community center in a remote Andean village situated at a high elevation and then camp in tents during a two day llama trek.
After arriving in Cusco, the group will drive for a couple hours to Urubamba where they will stay for the first few days. Then they will take a train to Machu Picchu. After that, they will trek to the project site before returning by van to Urubamba and then Cusco.
In addition to several days spent in the small city of Urubamba, the group will spend eight nights in remote Andean communities.



Depart from Miami, begin group orientation


Arrive in Cusco, drive to Urubamba, orientation to the Llama Pack Project


Sacred Valley Tour (Maras, Moray, Ollantaytambo)


Visit Machu Picchu, learn about sustainable tourism


Environmental workshop at Llama Pack Project House


Class preparation and material gathering at Llama Pack House and Urubamba downtown


Begin llama trek with members of the Local Guild of Llama Breeders, and learn about high-Andean biodiversity


Continue llama trek with members of the Local Guild of Llama Breeders, camp in the community of Quishuarani


Complete llama trek, arrive in the community of Cuncani


Meet the local community members of Cuncani, prepare for project work, camp at Cuncani lake


Project work with the community, teaching environmental education to local children, repairing a local school


Farewell breakfast with local community, return to Urubamba, begin debrief


Day to explore Urubamba


Closing activities and celebration, finish debrief, begin travels home


Return to Miami

Peru : In Three Phases



Prior to departure, students are guided by their course instructors through a series of interactive, online lessons. Organized by SStS’s Five Lenses Curriculum, these activities (30 minutes per week) allow students to directly engage with other members of the group.



The majority of the days at each site are spent engaged in meaningful service work with our NGO (non-governmental organization) partner. Days not dedicated to project work are spent immersed in intriguing cultural activities.



During the next school year, students educate others by advocating for our NGO partner through public presentations to the community at large and/or younger, school-based audiences.

Travel Journal

During the travel phase of each SStS course, students spend time reflecting about the learning that occurs through their immersion and service experiences. These posts capture the impact of our programs on individual students. Explore the posts below to learn about the SStS Peru program from the important viewpoint of our students.

Inspiration and Community in Cancha Cancha

We’re finally back home in Urubamba after four nights camping in the high-Andean community, Cancha Cancha. After getting dirty and working hard in the community, the whole group is not only satisfied with the work we have accomplished but also more inspired than ever by the people we worked with. On...

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Meaningful Mountains

Today we travelled to Chincero, Moray, and Ollantaytambo to explore ancient Incan ruins. Our group experienced a different side of Peru, getting a taste of this country’s rich history and also seeing a much more touristy side of the Sacred Valley. Fortunately, our trusty pal Augustine from the Llama...

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Communication and connections

It's amazing how we find different ways to communicate with each other. While some students in our group speak Spanish very well, others just know the basics. As a non-Spanish speaker and someone who has not taken a Spanish class since the 6th grade, I can honestly say that it was nerve wracking goi...

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Lesson Planning and Touring Urubamba

Day 3! After getting hardly any sleep following a full 24 hours of travel, day 2 was a bit of a blur. Today sort of felt like day 1. I'd like to start by recognizing just how amazing the food is here. Our cooks have yet to give us a meal that wasn’t enjoyed by everyone. I believe all fears of not li...

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Important Details

Cost Information

Students who attend a Shoulder-to-Shoulder partner school receive a tuition discount. To see a list of partner schools, click HERE.

Tuition (students from partner schools): $5285
Tuition (students from non-partner schools): $5485
Airfare & fees: $915
Total Course Cost: $6200 (Partner)/$6400(Non-Partner)

SStS is in search of curious, compassionate, globally-minded students. Thus, we will do all that we can financially to support students who require assistance. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please indicate this on the application. Financial assistance resources are limited. Scholarships tend to be less than 50% of tuition.

Please note, tuition does not include airfare and immunizations.
Tuition costs are all inclusive with the exception of personal expenditures (e.g. souvenirs).
Tickets and medical & security evacuation services are purchased as a group. The cost of these services is included in the tuition.
Talbot Travel Agency provides travel services for SStS, working personally with us to find the least expensive group fares. As a result, it is not possible to use airline miles or credit card benefits for the international flights. However, these can be used to purchase tickets to the gateway city.

Travel Expectations

Please note that we expect all participants to travel together, adhering to the identical itinerary. We will depart the United States as a group from a gateway city. Exemptions may be made for international students. Additionally, travel in the developing world inevitably includes “the unexpected” (e.g. weather disruptions, transportation strikes, etc.). SStS will adjust the itinerary accordingly, making the best of uncontrollable situations. Due to the unknown variables in international travel, participants are asked not to make travel plans or to enroll in programs that start immediately after their return. SStS is not responsible for expenses incurred due to missed flights if the group is delayed in their return.



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