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Peru

Program Itinerary

15 & 21 Day High School Service Programs

Peru 1 & 3

– 15 Days –

Below are the VISIONS Peru 1 & 3 summer program itineraries for our teen volunteers! The actual schedule may be a little different because of the flow of community service projects, weather or cultural events that we are invited to, but the primary activities are always woven into our Peru teen service projects. 

 

Day 1: Arrive at the Lima airport, where VISIONS leaders meet participants and fly with them to Cuzco. All teens make a quick call home before the group drives to Urubamba. (Additional calls home happen about once a week during the rest of the trip.) After we unpack and settle into our courtyard home, we come together for a Cena de Bienvenida, a welcome dinner with community members. Our local dinner cook, Neyda, prepares delicious Peruvian food.

 

Days 2 & 3: Nico, our local project coordinator, takes us to visit the worksite where we are building a preschool. We meet our maestro, Ismael, and we begin  to mix cement, lay bricks and create a rebar foundation. Other projects that we get started on include building a network of irrigation canals in the rural community of Yanahuara and working with kids at the local Spanish-English language school. One exciting event that is part of starting work is that we take part in a Pachamama ceremony (a gift to the earth), led by a local shaman. We will also make time for our first Circle meeting, during which we begin to get to know each other and reflect on the first days in Peru.

 

Day 4: You and a friend visit a local family in the Yanahuara community and experience a day in their life. You may help out in the fields, learn to cook a traditional Peruvian dish, or play with their kids, all the while immersing yourself in the Spanish language and the local culture.

 

Days 5 – 9: We dive fully into work, at both the school site and the canales project. You will choose your project location each day, hone your construction skills and practice your Spanish with the local community members who lead us in our projects. In the afternoons, we will attend local artisan workshops (such as pottery, chocolate-making or carpentry), explore Urubamba, play soccer and take salsa dance lessons. We will also visit the Salineras, nearby salt flats that have been in continuous use since the time of the Incas.

 

Days 10 & 11: This weekend is our Machu Picchu excursion. We spend Saturday exploring the town and archeological site of Ollantaytambo before catching a train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. We wake up early the next morning for a sunrise hike to the world-famous ruins. We spend the day exploring the ruins, the mountains and learning about the history of the Incas, before taking the train back to Urubamba.

 

Days 12 & 13: Our final days at the worksites allow us to cement our ties with the local community and finish up our projects. We will attend another artisan workshop, visit the mountaintop ruins of Pisac along with its bustling artisan market, and even go stargazingIn the evenings we continue our Circle meetings, cementing our connections, friendships and reflections on the experience. 

 

Days 14 & 15: We say goodbye to our friends in Urubamba during our Cena de Despedida, and complete a Big Clean of our homebase, and do a tour of the colonial city of Cuzco. Leaders fly with participants from Cuzco to Lima, and see them off from there. 

Peru 2

– 21 Days –

Below is the VISIONS Peru 2 summer program itinerary for our teen volunteers! The actual schedule may be a little different because of the flow of community service projects, weather or cultural events that we are invited to, but the primary activities are always woven into our Peru teen service projects. 

 

Day 1: Arrive at the Lima airport, where VISIONS leaders meet the participants and fly with them to Cuzco. Here all teens make a quick call home before the group drives to Urubamba. (Additional calls home happen about once a week during the rest of the trip.) After we unpack and settle into our courtyard home, we come together for a Cena de Bienvenida, a welcome dinner with community members at our home. Our local cook, Neyda, prepares delicious Peruvian food.

 

Day 2: Meet our driver and local project coordinator Nico, who will take us to visit the worksite where we are building a preschool. We meet our maestro, Ismael, who begins to show us how to mix cement, lay bricks and create a rebar foundation. Other VISIONS projects in Peru include building a network of irrigation canals in the rural community of Yanahuara and working with kids at the local Spanish-English language school. After the orientation, we will visit the canales in Yanahuara, and take part in a Pachamama ceremony (a gift to the earth), led by a local shaman. We will also make time for our first Circle meeting, during which we begin to get to know each other and reflect on the first days in Peru!

 

Days 3 – 7: We begin our first week of project work, and each day participants choose their worksite. In the afternoons, we participate in two artisan workshops (choices include pottery, chocolate-making, jewelry, bee-keeping and carpentry); go on a scavenger hunt; shop at the produce market; and have free time to explore Urubamba. On one day we will also explore the Incan agricultural research ruins at Moray, and marvel at the terraced hills of Chinchero. We visit a local artisan market at Chinchero featuring traditional Peruvian textiles, crafts and jewelry. In the evenings, we have Circle meetings, bonfires and salsa dance classes.

 

Day 8: You and a couple other participants visit a local family in the Yanahuara community and experience a day in their life. You may help out in the fields, learn to cook a traditional Peruvian dish, or play with their kids, all the while immersing yourself in the Spanish language and the local culture.

 

Day 9: Explore the Saqsaywaman ruins in the mountains overlooking the Cuzco valley, then head into the bustling colonial city of Cuzco. Here, we visit the artisan market, sightsee around the historic Plaza de Armas, take an introductory salsa lesson and grab a meal before heading back to homebase.

 

Days 10 – 14: During the second workweek, we build on the foundations we began in our first days. In the afternoons, we rotate through additional workshops (everyone has a chance to experience each one), play soccer with the locals, host an Andean music and dance evening, and maybe even do karaoke at a local restaurant. We may go out to eat in Urubamba and participate in a bake-off using traditional clay ovens. We take a day off from work to hike the mountaintop ruins of Pisac, from which you have a view of the whole Sacred Valley. 

 

Days 15 & 16: This weekend is our Machu Picchu excursion. We spend Saturday exploring the town and archeological site of Ollantaytambo before catching a train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. We wake up early the next morning for a sunrise hike to the world-famous ruins. We spend the day exploring the ruins, the mountains and learning about the history of the Incas, before taking the train back to Urubamba.

 

Days 17 – 19: By our final week of work, you know how to mix cement, how to pass the baldes down the line at the irrigation site, how to properly lay brick, and how to understand and be understood by new friends who speak little or no English. During this week, we complete our projects and reflect on the experience. In the afternoon, we will visit the Salineras, nearby salt flats that have been in continuous use since the time of the Incas. We also have free time in Urubamba, organize a game night and talent show, and go stargazing. On the final night, we will host a Cena de Despedida to say goodbye to our new friends in the community.

 

Days 20 & 21: We do a Big Clean of our homebase, and say our final goodbyes to community members. Leaders fly with participants from Cuzco to Lima, and see them off from there.

Celebrating 30 Years