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. One of the most impactful moments for me personally was right after we completed the tree nursery. Everyone gathered in a circle and different people spoke about the work we had done and the meaning behind it. I know I speak for the whole group when I say that Gadel’s speech taught us that we were not only working for the community but for the world. Everyone we have met thus far in Peru has a deep spiritual connection to nature, especially the mountains. We all definitely took some of that appreciation of the environment away with us.
The people we have worked with here in Peru have taught us so much and have given us a lot to think about. I don’t think any of us have encountered a more good-hearted, hard-working group of people. Both the people of Cancha Cancha and the people of the Llama Pack Project have inspired us to try to better ourselves in many different ways. The people of Cancha Cancha taught us how important it is to try to connect with people. Working side by side with these people, we all learned how to form bonds with people without language. While they all speak some Spanish, their native language is Quechua, so a language barrier was definitely present during our time there. Even with the barrier, we were still able to laugh and cry alongside a beautiful, open-hearted community. I, along with the rest of the group, will never forget how welcoming, generous, and genuine these people were to us.