Immersion Service Community

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PERU 12-DAY PROGRAM

BIENVENIDOS A PERU!

DAY 1

VISIONS students arrive at the Lima airport, where VISIONS leaders meet participants and fly with them to Cuzco. Everyone makes a quick call home, are greeted by our professional driver and project coordinator, Nico Jara, and we make the gorgeous hour-long drive into the Sacred Valley and our homebase in Urubamba. We settle in and begin our program orientation, including our first Circle meeting to start getting to know each other. 

We then come together for a Cena de Bienvenida with community members and an Andean folklorico band! Our dinner cook, Neyda, prepares a delicious Peruvian meal.

GETTING GROUNDED

DAY 2

Prepare for an engaging orientation and immersive workshops that will lay the foundation for the journey ahead. Collaborate with experienced maestros who will guide you in honing your skills in cement mixing, adobe work, bricklaying, and tool handling. These practical sessions will empower you with skills that transcend throughout the  program.

A memorable part of the day is the Pachamama ceremony during our inaugural day at the canales (water canals) project. Led by a spiritual leader, this tribute to Mother Earth brings the community together in expressing gratitude for the land, signifying unity and encapsulating our shared goals’ essence.

WORK & PLAY

DAYS 3 – 7

We engage in our projects and you get to choose your worksites each day. Additionally, we participate in “homebase crew” days with rotating teams that help prepare meals, maintain our living area, and shop at local markets for fresh produce.

Our project lineup building an irrigation canal network in the charming rural community of Yanahuara. This is more than mere construction; it’s about preserving an agriculture-based livelihood for communities of the Sacred Valley. You’ll also contribute to projects focused on enhancing local preschool infrastructure and engage with young learners.

We kickstart our rotating workshops (“talleres”) that continue throughout the program, offering experiences like pottery, chocolate-making, jewelry-making and carpentry. Afternoons hold options for hikes, “Bamba time” to explore the town, pickup soccer matches, and other activities rooted in the community.

Read more about daily life on VISIONS programs.

DIA CON FAMILIAS

DURING WEEK OF 3 – 7

A favorite experience during our program is our “day stay” with local families. Partnered with another VISIONS participant, you’ll dive into the Quechua culture through the eyes of your host family, who welcomes you like a friend. Starting after breakfast, you’ll spend the whole day with your host family, building connections and creating memories. Even if your Spanish skills are just starting to advance, the excitement of forming new bonds will fuel your interactions. 

“The homestay was one of my favorite moments on the trip. I loved talking with my homestay family and learning what their lives are like. The kids in my homestay family were really fun to be around and I got to chat with them in Spanish.”

SACRED RUINS & SALT MINES

DAY 8

After a relaxed morning and a satisfying breakfast, we hop on the bus with Nico for an adventure to the Moray archaeological ruins. Imagine concentric terraces etched into the earth like a natural amphitheater. These terraces once acted as an ancient Inca lab for agriculture, with each level creating its own unique climate for different crops to flourish.

We then take a scenic hike downhill to Salineras de Maras, where over 3000 salt ponds, active since the Incan Empire, transform the landscape. Community-run small shops offer various types of salt, and you’ll get to interact with the folks who are keeping the Inca traditions alive.

MACHU PICCHU

DAYS 9 & 10

Our Machu Picchu excursion! We hop on an early morning train to Machu Picchu’s mountainside town of Aguas Calientes, where we head up to this 15th Century Citadel for a professional tour and taking in the sights. If time allows, there will be an option to hike up to Machu Picchu from town (about 1.5 hours) instead of riding the bus.

There will also be time to explore the markets of Aguas Calientes before hopping on a late afternoon train to return to home sweet home.

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!

DAYS 11 & 12

Pack up, clean our living space, and head to Cuzco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Western Hemisphere. After checking out the historic district and nearby ruins, we head to the airport for afternoon flights to Lima, where departures begin late-night and continue the next morning. A leader accompanies the group in order to see everyone off from Lima. Flights start in the late evening and go on until the following morning. Day 12: You’ll be back home (if you’re in the U.S.), regardless of whether you had a late-night flight or an early-morning departure.

We hope you’ll carry your newfound skills and passion for service with you to every community you touch. Take what you’ve learned and be the spark that brings brighter days and deeper connections.

Until next time, Hasta la próxima!

What kids and parents say about us is more telling than what we say about ourselves.

VISIONS in The New York Times