June 26 to July 12, 2020
Miami International Airport
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.
The Llama Pack Project teaches Andean villagers how to raise pack llamas for the tourism industry as tools for sustainable development and conservation of mountain ecosystems. To learn more, please visit their website.
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.
Although the group will spend a lot of time with the children at a school and stay in remote villages, they do not stay in the homes of individual families.
In addition to several days spent in the small city of Urubamba, the group will spend eight nights in remote Andean communities.
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.